Why Vote NO on Referendum Question 2




In reading the above Referendum Question No 2 is it obvious to you that the City already has Term Limits of 2 consecutive 3-year terms?

  • Sure doesn’t read like that.  So if you aren’t already aware that Term Limits was just on the ballot as recently as in November 2014, and passed by 16,186 voters, over 79% of those voting in a General Election, you would never know it.  
  • None of those currently on the Palm Beach Gardens City Council have even completed their first 3-year term
  • We expect a very low turnout election on March 13, where there is nothing on the ballot but proposed changes to the City’s Charter.  Thus, the will of over 16,000 voters who voted for 2 3-year terms may be over-ridden by as few as half of the turnout – which we estimate may be as low as 1000 voters.  So it’s possible for 501 voters to over-turn 2 3-year terms and change it to 3 3-year terms.  IS THIS RIGHT OR FAIR?
  • More people signed the petitions to get Term Limits on the November 2014 ballot than will probably vote to alter it in March.  IS THIS RIGHT OR FAIR?
  • Rationale given by four on the Council (Matthew Lane voting NO) by placing it on the ballot was:
    • The Charter Review Committee, appointed by the Council, recommended it.  While this was discussed in depth by the Committee, there were no true opponents in voting for a longer serving time by any on the committee who voted unanimously.  There was no strong opposition to changing what was just passed recently and a different mix of members on the CRC may have voted differently.
    • The Charter Review Committee acknowledged that incumbents almost always get re-elected.  Thus they knew that they were granting the current council, not a disinterested group, an additional term.  And some on the CRC were lobbyists doing business before the City.
    • Some on the Council suggested that voters weren’t given a list of options in 2014 so perhaps they didn’t really understand that they were voting for 2 3-year terms and might have wanted longer terms or more terms.
    • Voters were only voting for term limits because they really want them in Congress so they were taking out their wrath on local officials.
    • Council members NEED more time to see the results of their actions and to overcome the steep learning curve in their positions.  Learning curve?  So should we cast out all of their votes in their first terms since they were ignorant and unqualified?
  • Passage of this question 2, along with Referendum Question No 3, would allow Council to serve indefinitely, with a 3-year sit-out between  limited-terms.  So serve 9 years, take a break, serve another 9 ad infinitum.  Sound like Term Limits to you?
  • Most of the text of the ballot question references retroactivity and most of the discussion by Council centered around that point because they didn’t want past council members, themselves or future council members to have an unfair advantage in a perceived flaw in the existing Charter wording.

Who benefits from this change?  Clearly the incumbents and clearly the various interested parties with business before the Council who want stability.




Speak Your Mind

Tell us what you're thinking...