Saturday, July 25, 2009

term limits mash up

Term limits are favored by more than 70 percent of the public. If the political class fought the nation's problems as tenaciously as it fights term limits, America would be paradise by next Tuesday. George Will

John Adams was pro term limits as was his frienemy Tom Jefferson.The Republican's Contract with America included term limits.

Introduction

In ancient Greece, elected officials were term limited. From the 6th century BC many Athenian officials were elected by random lottery to serve a term of a year. Elected Roman officials were also no strangers to term limits of a single term.

Many of the framers of the fledgling United States governance system were also enamored of this notion. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson all considered term limits to be an important way of placing checks on individual power.

Lists of pros and cons for term limits tend to include the following:

Arguments Against
Term limits terminates the 'good' politicians along with the 'bad'.
This appears to be one of only two valid opposition arguments, but it is fully counterbalanced by the fact that, with unlimited terms in place, an unknowable number of talented individuals never run for office in the first place, or if they do, they lose, because incumbents 'always' win. [The American public believes that incumbents have an unfair advantage in elections]

Term limits reduces voter choice.
Obviously a false argument, since as incumbents reach reelection rates of 98%, most voters are being deprived of real choice. [Here in North County, we've had lots of pols get reelected without any real contest or any option within the same ideological tint as the incumbent, however that is not very true for city council races.]

The Fundamental Argument Against
Term limits are undemocratic. Judiciary Committee chairman Hatch complains that term limits demonstrate "a fundamental lack of faith in the common sense and good judgment of the voters," even though it is the voters who are approving them. [That's worth reading twice.]

Its Not Constitutional
The nation's Founders, along with famed Roman statesmen and British classical liberals, strongly believed in rotation in office. Unfortunately for Americans today, the Framers left limits on terms out of the Constitution. But then, they did not think limits would be necessary, for they did not foresee that politics would become a career for so many people.

Term Limits Give Lobbyists More Influence
If term limits help lobbyists, why do they uniformly oppose term limits? Special interests raised $3.3 million to block term limits in California in 1990; they are literally the only parties that donate to "no" campaigns.

Term Limits Promote loss of experience
There is also the related matter to consider that at the local level there has been a rise in council manager systems, bucked only by the largest cities. So this issue is diluted by that factor. Related: Inexperienced leaders will be easy prey for special interests: It is feared that bureaucrats and permanent staff will dominate them. [This is a loaded issue that deserves its own blog post.]

Term limits remove popular leaders:
This can be true. Both Mayor Bloomberg and Mayor Hardberger of San Antonio are proof of that at present. However, does this mean that no one else replacing them can be popular? Are individuals more important than the system?


The following point was published as part of a review of term limits at City Mayors.com.

Term limits negatively affect the types of projects that elected leaders implement, and the continuity of those projects: This depends on the types of project involved and whether they were of the type that would not be supported by a successor. [If its not supported by the MAJORITY of the successors, doesn't that say something?]

The Washington Post has a series on term limits that focuses on congressional limit, but is relevant:

Inside Congress, I believe, term limits would likely weaken the influence and protection small states gain through seniority… But two things are clear. One inevitable result of term limits will be to cut short the careers of talented elected officials who retain the confidence of their constituents and have years of capable service still to give.

This congressman would not be in jail if he had been termed out of office.


[There was no real option or debate for Encinitas Congressman Duke Cunningham's seat for most of the gazillion times he was reelected. Duke's power structure and cult became so entrenched that an Encinitas council member publicly defending him after the details of the bribe scheme became known. Reports of Duke's bizarre public behavior and policy contradictions never had to be reconciled in the public or debated because he held the power of incumbency.]

History of Term Limits
Term limited congressmen and state legislators have to plan for a personal future other than that of a professional politician on the government payroll. They have to look forward to years of living under the laws they pass, and paying the taxes they set. In other words, they cease to be 'them' and behave more like 'us'.

Without term limits, incumbents have a huge advantage in elections: this may be true anywhere, but it is particularly true in the United States. Incumbents build up name identification over the years, and accumulate war chests, lists of donors, media contacts, and political skills (and favours owed to them). This makes it difficult for challengers to win.

The most competitive races in the US are for 'open' seats where there is no incumbent. Second to that are incumbents running for their first re-election, before they have built up such a formidable political advantage.

The text in this mash up is from:
Washington Post Series
The Cato Institute (Pro)
Adam Smith.org (Pro)
CityMayors.com (Pro)
Time Mag Series

[Comments in brackets are Leucadia bloggers' comments.]

65 comments:

  1. There should be term limits on marriage every 5 years.

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  2. Loving EncinitasJuly 25, 2009 10:55 PM

    Kevin-

    That is by far the most excellent post on the blog in its history. What a unbiased, pure report on an important pressing issue.

    Thank you!

    To me, one voter, term limits are need for all the points explained in your post. Our most intelligent founders knew it, and the most intelligent citizens of today know it.

    I am sorry that Dr. Lorri is no longer posting comments, however, she will be revered in my and may other citizens eyes, as a savior and proponent of Encinitas reaching its full potential.

    Thank you again Kevin. And thank you Dr. Lorri for pushing forward to get term limits adopted for Encinitas. I will support your effort with funding when needed. With intelligent people like you, Encinitas will reach its full potential.

    My hat off to you,

    Loving Encinitas.

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  3. Loving EncinitasJuly 25, 2009 11:02 PM

    Second point. There are endless more intelligent citizens ready to volunteer for their City then the current city incumbants.

    Even Teresa would agree with that fact. (She has only served one term. God bless her sould, she has been great!)

    Anyone who doesn't agree is stuck in ego land and has to be replaced anyway.

    Love always,

    Loving Encinitas

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  4. I agree with Loving Encinitas great post Kevin. One can only wonder what Carlsbad might be if term limits were in place and Bud Lewis was gone years ago. Needless to say Encinitas without Stocks and Bond would be quite different as well.

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  5. I say thank you as well. It is about time this issue came to the forefront. If we want to get involved how would we do it? I think it takes a lot of signatures to get something on a ballot. We need a lot of people for signatures and someone who can draw up the document.

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  6. Some own who loves EncinitasJuly 26, 2009 12:14 AM

    Dr. Lorri. Regardless of how pissed off you are about a few people, your mission stands true. I hope you can gather the support from the people who care about Encinitas!

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  7. Thank you Kevin for this post. I can leave my attitude behind after you have taken the time and work to put this piece together. We are going to need about 6,200 signatures, after an Initiative is drawn up. Right now we need an attorney willing to write it up pro bono We also need some money in a fund ( I am checking on how to do that) to promote the idea, with flyers that we can take door to door, and ads in the local papers.This may not go down well with the developers and some other folks. I am still checking on a couple of potential problems, but I don't think that they cannot be overcome. So all of you that say you want this can now step up to the plate and start selling the idea to others. I have no poll to tell us what the popular opinion of the people of Encinitas really is, so, I am only assuming that we can get the signatures needed. I suspect we cannot get it on the 2010 ballot, so I am thinking of 2012. That is when 3 sitting council members are up for reelection-Jim Bond, Jerome Stocks and Maggie Houlighan -that is assuming that they will all run again.
    If anyone wants to begin helping in the process, please e-mail me at: lgreene98@aol.com. I will get back to you. Once there are 25 people interested in helping, we can begin the work to be done.
    If you are the fence about this remember, if we don't like the term limits, we can always vote back the way it is now. So, if there is a small doubt, that information may help you think about this differently.
    Term limits can be a pain in large government However, Encinitas is a community of 62,000 people. It will not take a person that long to get up to speed, which is one of the main arguments against term limits.
    "What a long strange trip it's been."--J. Garcia

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  8. Thanks Kevin and Dr. Lorri.

    You guys are the best for saving Encinitas from becoming worse than Carlsbad.

    I know term limits will happen. They just can't happen fast enough for me.

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  9. Great post. Well researched.

    But which councilman defended Randy Duke?

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  10. I might sign a petition but I would be unlikely to vote for term limits. Incumbency has its advantages, yes, but ultimately, the most effective way to be rid of an elected official is by defeating them at the ballot box. Sure, it's hard, but not impossible. Limiting the number of terms someone can serve seems unnatural.

    What I think we really need here in Encinitas is a primary process. Look at the results from the last election:

    MAGGIE HOULIHAN 12,488
    JEROME STOCKS 10,373
    JAMES BOND 9,744
    DOUGLAS LONG 8,513
    RACHELLE COLLIER 8,158
    BOB NANNINGA 7,855
    TONY BRANDENBURG 5,484
    JOE SHEFFO 4,470
    HARRIET SELDIN 2,940
    BETSY ACETI 2,450

    When someone announces she is withdrawing from the race and doesn't campaign at all and still gets 2,450 votes, what does that say about the electorate?

    Again, looking at the results from the last council election, if the primary had reduced the field to five candidates, that would have put 15,344 votes in play for the general election. Obviously, that might have made a big difference in the outcome, especially considering that the people that voted for the bottom five were inclined to vote for "change".

    To me the right system would need to have a flexible formula for the number of candidates that were eligible to be on the ballot for the general election. I would do something like "incumbents + 2".

    As for the state and national offices, we need to have a better process for defining districts which make them more competitive. It remains to be seen if the new system is going to make a difference.

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  11. How about limits on long kooks and wierdos can live or visit here?

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  12. Good job, Kevin. C'mon, Dr. Lorri, a blog is a blog is a blog. You'll be back, and no oe will say I toldja so.

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  13. Just the FactsJuly 26, 2009 2:40 PM

    According to the Calif. Municipal Elections Handbook....

    The petition process starts with a formal request for a ballot item to the CITY ATTORNEY who prepares the text for the petition.

    Then the petitioners have 180 days to get signatures.
    15% of the population (probably 9800 signatures) would be required, 10% would be considered (approx. 6,500).

    At which point the City could decide to:
    1) Adopt the ordinance outright
    2) order a special elections, or 3) require additional review and then #1 or #2.

    This approach is do-able, but it will require aggressive signature
    collection to reach sufficient levels in 180 days.

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  14. There are other ways to do it as well. Our City Attorney prepare a document? I think not, since he works for the Council. Iniatives get on the ballot all of the time. Do you think the City Attorney is always involved? Dr. Lorri mentioned the 2012 ballot and not a special election which would cost so much money. That makes sense to me as we will have to lot done to get this on the ballot thru the initiative process.

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  15. AJ-

    What?

    "might sign a petition but I would be unlikely to vote for term limits. Incumbency has its advantages, yes, but ultimately, the most effective way to be rid of an elected official is by defeating them at the ballot box. Sure, it's hard, but not impossible. Limiting the number of terms someone can serve seems unnatural."

    Unnatural is when people become carreer politicians and listen only to they special interests who fill their campaign coffers. Employee Unions and Developers own most of our Council. Some actually think their job is to be popular with City Employees. They are actually harming their constituents, but they don't care because they get the financial support of the special interests.

    Term limits are needed. If we had them we would not be in the mess we are in today. Carreer politicians become the enemy. Vote against all incumbants.

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  16. If someone wants a "career" serving the community then they should get a job as a bureaucrat.

    The politicians should oversee the bureaucrats for a limited amount of time.

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  17. If term limits help lobbyists, why do they uniformly oppose term limits? Special interests raised $3.3 million to block term limits in California in 1990; they are literally the only parties that donate to "no" campaigns.


    This coupled with the reality that most citizens are clueless when knowing what their elected politicians stand for and their votes that favor the special interests like unions and developers over the public, make me a strong supporter for term limits.

    Its the only way to level the playing field and will keep egomaniacs from owning a council position for life. I know Dalager is going to try and break old Bonds record. Soon, our Council, will not remember their own name, but they will still be able to cast a vote.

    Vote in term limits.

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  18. anon 906,

    AJ didn't say those problems don't exist. It is this solution to the problem that he is skeptical of.

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  19. As a small developer I too support term limits. No joke, I really am. And I care about this community in which I live.

    Also, I still don't know why each community has a say in the other community's choice to be represented. Same with commissioners. We need to have votes for a council member from just their community like San Diego does. How is it Dalager represents Leucadia?

    Lastly, reducing the number of candidates is essential. I hate to say it, but, Nanninga had the Nader effect on last year's elections.

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  20. The question is... why would any one want to be a councilman?

    Suffer through this testimony:http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/07/24/is-this-the-stupidest-per_n_244440.html

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  21. One more thing. To make this happen we have to give serious consideration to the relationship between the Council and the San Dieguito Water district. Remember the City has 2 water districts and the SDWD board is the Encinitas City Council.

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  22. OK everyone, where is the attorney that is going to help draft the initiative? I get a sense people are interested in exploring this idea in more depth, but we need an attorney that will do some pro-bono work on this. How about it Charlie Marvin, or others on this blog? Any takers?

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  23. In addition to term limits, it would be good to have an "instant run off" election process....this is where you would vote for alternate choices, if your choice was out of the running. This is done in many places, but is still relatively rare.

    For example, many Nanninga votes may have had Collier as an alternate choice.

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  24. Here's a response from the NY Times on why there is such corruption in N.J. which seems relevant here, and on this topic, since term limits is to prevent corruption.

    Compounding this is the sheer number of governing boards — counties, towns, school committees, autonomous agencies, zoning boards — all of which have a say over whether vendors get contracts or builders get permits. No news outlet or prosecutor can possibly keep watch over all these agencies and their officials. Gov. Jon Corzine and others have tried to reduce the number of municipalities in New Jersey, but efforts to do so have run head on into the state’s long and hallowed tradition of home rule.


    First problem is the need to consolidate, so voters have the possibility of knowing those who they delegate power to

    This from the LA Times:

    Early proclamations that the cash crisis had forced lawmakers to transcend pettiness and partisanship devolved into hallway deal-making. Over and over, legislators with designs on higher office balked at measures that could be used in campaigns against them. Legislative leaders, inexperienced in their jobs, repeatedly found they could not deliver the votes of their caucuses.

    Term limits have made this batch of lawmakers among the most inexperienced in decades, and many legislators, their attention focused on their next elected office, spent the night watching the moves of real or prospective opponents in upcoming primaries.


    I'm a political Junky, as some of you may know, yet there is no way I can follow the array of State office holders, referenda, county, city etc etc. I don't even have a party label as a clue.

    Term limits is based on the self fulfilling prophecy that all politicians are crooks, either in fact or at heart. Term limits won't end this if it's true, as they same people remain in the political system.

    Term limits, by the implication, prevents people from making a career in elected service. It's the absence of such people, who we get to know, who reporters learn to know, who develop a history of decisions....that I see as bringing disaster to this state.

    We need to nurture the rare individual who desires public elected service, and reward him/her with a long term tenure in his position.

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  25. Al,

    Can you give us 3 examples of elected official we should nurture?

    Also, are you glad that W. Bush was termed out of office or should he have had another chance?

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  26. Al-

    I have never read such BS. You need to simply your thoughts and arguements. You seem to glamorize politicians when they should simply be doing a voluntary job to govern a public agency that they love.

    Good point broght up, what polician warrents more then two terms?

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  27. Term limits have been both good and bad for California. However, we are talking about Encinitas, population around 62,000 people. 2- 4 year terms is enough. It doesn't take that long to get up to speed, as it might in the State itself. So when you speak of New Jersey or the State of California it is not like talking about our small community, IMHO.

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  28. Auntie GrizeldaJuly 27, 2009 4:54 PM

    12:13 "I have never read such BS. You need to simply your thoughts and arguements. You seem to glamorize politicians when they should simply be doing a voluntary job to govern a public agency that they love.

    Good point broght up, what polician warrents more then two terms?"

    Honey, get yourself down to Adult Education somewhere and learn how to spell and use English grammar. I'll give you a head start. It's right at your fingertips: dictionary.com

    There is no "e" in "argument"
    There is a "u" in "brought"
    You want "a" instead of "e" in "warrants". There is a "ti" missing in your "Polician". And you insist on using "then" for "than" eternally. Amazingly, you did select the correct "two" in our difficult world of three options to choose from.

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  29. Uh oh-the spelling police are out in force.

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  30. Al thoughtfully collected a few good points and he seems to have the same underlying concern that many of us have. He is also willing to find the time and effort to be informed and involved. There are a lot of people who just struggle to motivate just to go to the polls and wouldn't bother to vote if they couldn't vote by mail.

    I think part of the problem is that there is a big proportion of voters who don't care to make more than a nominal effort to learn about who gets their vote. Here in North County, incumbent candidates with name recognition gain a serious advantage and its not because they are determined to be the best candidate for the job.

    You don't have to have corruption in the equation to support an argument for term limits.
    Also, I don't see enough to persuade me that the LA Time's take is solid. California is not in this mess because of inexperience. In fact, I would tend to think that turnover allows for mistakes to be addressed.

    For instance, take the city of Encinitas' real estate blunders. There have been many during the tenure of the council majority at the cost of millions of dollars to the taxpayers. Only Barth has been opening willing to want to address a real estate policy for the city. Why wouldn't Dalager and Stocks and Houlihan not want to do that? They would have to face their multi million dollar mistakes. A new council would not have the same experience/baggage.

    On a side note, I have an idea that is a little more complicated than standard term limits, but might be acceptable to Al and Lorrie. More later, if a compromise is sought.

    [excuse my grammar mistakes, I'm in a rush to take the kids to the beach]

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  31. I've been asked to name 3 politicians who deserve not to be term limited:

    Ruth Messenger, council person of N.Y.C. I was fighting against a major Trump development.

    She responded with what I believe is a personal, O.K. some boilerplate explanation of how she had attempted years before to have the city buy the land, but since they didn't, preventing reasonable? development was a taking, and not legal.

    I disagreed with her, but she had made an effort to do something positive, and was a solid honest legislator.

    She ran against Giuliani and lost in the late 90s.

    There are many others like her, but the responsible acts don't make the front pages, and only become appreciated over long years of honest effort.

    And those who believe that in the whole constellation of elected office holders there aren't three who deserve to keep thier positions as long as they are willing and effective, perhaps should evaluate the lens they are looking through.

    Perhaps with such cynicism the problem isn't not approving of the individuals, but of the democratic system itself.

    As the man once said, "It's the worse system in the world, except for all those others."

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  32. Al-

    thats only one and U did not convince me.

    Aunty- I spelled you - U... take that.

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  33. CA financial mess has nothing to do with Term Limits. Term limits are helping CA.

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  34. Al,

    I am more optimistic. I believe there are many more people capable and willing to do a good job. They can't break in because the party system has a lock on most offices and that lock is made even stronger by incumbency.

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  35. can't argue with meJuly 27, 2009 7:22 PM

    I prayed many nights that term limits were not removed for George W Bush.

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  36. Al: I am sure that you are right. There are many good and great people in politics, and having them around is nice. However, on the flip side, I think you might even admit that the power of name recognition for an incumbent is huge. He or she is known,but is not always known for how he or she votes. Furthermore it is not always known if their vote was a wise choice for the citizens of the City of Encinitas, which is what we are talking about. This is not NYC, or Los Angeles, where it might take 4 years just to understand the workings of the CIty. We are small potatoes and the workings of this City are not that complicated. Perhaps you can name a council person from this City that has served for more than 2 terms who you think was or is good for this City? I think that would be more relevant for this discussion. Thanks for the input, it keeps everyone thinking about this.

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  37. Good question Dr. L. Would it we be better to allow Barth to run 7 times or to let others have a shot at the 4 other seats?

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  38. Let others have a seat at the four other spots. What Bond did last election proved term limits are necessary.

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  39. Hi Everyone:
    One of our very own Leucadia blog readers stepped up to the plate and will do some legal work pro bono. We have a wonderul community and whether we get term limits passed or we don't, I want you all to know how much I appreciate J.P. and Kevin getting this issue out to you. This blog has become almost as important as an alternative newspaper for our community.

    I have personally apologized to J.P. over my latest "tizzy fit"as we used to call them. And so, in the spirit of "full disclosure" I want to apologize to all of you. As much as I love being a psychologist, there are days when I wonder "why do I do this"? Am I helping ANYONE? I hope the answer is yes, but the answer I tell myself occasionally is I am not"good enough" to help anyone. On those days, my frustration may spill over to this blog. I cannot say it will never happen again, but I can say I will from now on apologize when it does. I really do care about what happens to our amazing City. I am 61, so most of the things that I do are for the younger people. I still believe in the values of from the 60's, however, most have "sold out" to the Man, and you are the ones who end up being "screwed" by us. I am trying to help in any way that I can to help the community. Thanks for reading, if you did:)

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  40. Dr. Lorri-

    I agree with your statement. I am 57 and I know our generation sold out to the Man and caused our kids and future generation great hardships to come. Thanks for your honesty and now all we can do is try and correct the problems we've caused.

    Term Limits will help in tremendous ways for the future of Encinitas. Thanks for all of your efforts.

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  41. Dr. Lori, I rarely go off like this, but I wanted you to know.

    Quite simply, one can choose to live their life out of fear, or out of love. For the most part you have shown that you live for love. We all have those days when we feel ineffective, it's part of this movie, but don't let it own you, move beyond.

    You're doing great work, keep it up. Keep up the love, you can't do it wrong.

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  42. My general sense that term limits are bad comes from the term "limit". Why limit who can run for an office just because a person has held that office "long enough"? I guess incumbency is such a great advantage that it should be ended by decree. I realize there are financial advantages to being an incumbent, but hard work by an opponent can overcome that. But if term limits are what voters in Encinitas want, so be it. Just remember that 2,450 of those voters cast their ballot last time for someone that had withdrawn from the election many months before. (Maybe they're not so smart or uninformed?)

    But I would still like to see a primary system established. The candidate forums I went to last year didn't allow for an opportunity to put the frontrunners on the spot.

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  43. A.J. I understand your concern for primaries, but they would add additional cost to the process. Do you have an idea how we would pay for this? It is still going to be expensive to get this on the ballot, without primaries. Remember, many people that donate large amounts of money to the City, such as Ecke, expect something in return. Please do not hear that I am trashing Ecke. It was just the first name that came to my mind. If he, for example, does not want term limits, he has a lot more money to spend on opposing it than the proponents do, or at least I think that is the case. I could be dead wrong on that.

    You make an excellent point about BETSY ACETI. Again, the flip side goes back to my original suggestion that many of the citizens of this community do not know who they are voting for. Steve Aceti's name is in the paper a lot, and I wonder if people voted on the name rather than the person? Which goes back to the power of name recognition, which City Council members have going for them. I would enjoy hearing as many cons to term limits as you posters have. I am sure not saying that I have found the answer to our City's problems. Kevin mentioned another way. I am certainly open to hearing about what he has to say.

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  44. DrL:

    Not sure what you mean about cost. There should be no cost for a primary since the election will be happening for federal and state offices anyhow.

    Also, if there is going to be a referendum about the rules by which our council is constituted, I would favor voting on a permanent mayor. So maybe three questions on the ballot: should there be term limits; should there be an elected mayor; and should the names on the ballot for mayor and council be determined during the previous primary election?

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  45. they're not so smart or uninformed?

    Of course they're not AJ.

    Thats why the incumbants have a huge advantage only do to name recognition and more time to collect special interest money for their war chest.

    Term limits would equal the playing field. Encinitas does not benifit by having Council members for over 8 years. Ever!

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  46. Incumbency limits choice. It is not an open playing field, especially for some offices. Real options are not allowed to run against each other, partially because of the power of incumbency and the influence that can be wielded from office.

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  47. Forget the elected mayor idea. If it is pursued, there will be strong opposition.

    Why do you think James Bond has been pushing for an elected mayor? Power and more power for one person.

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  48. "Forget the elected mayor idea. If it is pursued, there will be strong opposition."

    Forget you. What does it hurt to ask? Let's have a debate and give some smart people a chance to argue for it and against it and then let the voters decide. The rotating mayor gavel is hokey, and as we've seen in the past, subject to political manipulation.

    And remember all the crazy things Dalager did when it was his turn to be "Mayor"? He wasn't elected to do all that crap.

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  49. Perhaps we should move one step at a time. Maybe get term limits in and then ask if anyone wants an elected mayor. A.J. would that work for you, since you are the only brave soul to post the opposing views? Also, you asked about money. This is an initiatative and it, unfortunately will cost money. There are many steps to the process including a $3600.00. filing fee. There is also the step of getting about 6500 signatures and an attorney to draw it all up. After it is legally drawn up, we will have 180 days to get those signatures, so we will need lots of volunteers. However, the names and addresses have to be checked by the Registrar of Voters, and there is much more. Unfortunately, these all cost money. So anyone out there want to begin to pony up some money let me know at lgreene98@aol.com. If someone does, I will ask the bank as to how to set up a fund for that money to go in to. That may cost as well, haven't got that far. Great questions and responses. All of us are in this together and remember there will be lots of opposition with other agendas in mind. So, we have to be responsive and polite to all-and that includes me as well:)

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  50. Your outline of the costs are exactly why the petition and referendum should address all the issues that might make the system better. Three questions for the price of one on a ballot sounds like a bargain.

    How has your email response been? Maybe it is time to schedule a public meeting to talk about all this? 51 comments on a blog, three quarters anonymously, does not a cause make.

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  51. So true, A.J. A public meeting is a great idea. After our pro-bono attorney wonderful poster, on this very blog, and I meet I will attempt to get a room at the library and see if I can get a decent price on renting it. Or, does anyone know a place we could hold a meeting at no charge? That would be better. Kevin, are you out there? What do you say? Does anyone have any idea on how to publicize it? The Leucadia101 Mainstreet Assoc. does not want to become involved. Still waiting to hear form the Cardiff Town Council.

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  52. a.j.foytunate - You would subject us to 4 years as mayor of the likes of Dalager, Bond, or Stocks. Forget the elected mayor idea. If combined with the term limits, both with be strongly opposed.

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  53. I wouldn't subject you to anything but hearty debate. What do you have against a vote on the proposal? In the end, you could keep your mind closed and continue to stew in your dislike of Stocks, Bond and Dalager, vote against a permanent Mayor, and maybe most people in Encinitas would agree. I don't care for term limits, but I see nothing wrong with having a vote on it, and I disagree that any kind of combo referendum is going to cause one thing or the other to fail.

    Your "go away" attitude reminds me of the following poem by Steven Crane, and you're the creature:

    In the desert
    I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
    Who, squatting upon the ground,
    Held his heart in his hands,
    And ate of it.
    I said: "Is it good, friend?"
    "It is bitter - bitter," he answered;
    "But I like it
    Because it is bitter,
    And because it is my heart."

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  54. a.j.foytunate - You are so full of it.

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  55. If by "it" you mean "shit", I think that shoe fits you.

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  56. Wow AJ- I am impressed with your poem, but I don't understand your dislike for term limits.

    Up until this point, I always agreed with your comments. Do you care to elaborate more on why you do not like term limits. Is it simply because you dislike excluding anyone from running for any office at any time?
    IMHO, the current American Political system is severely broken and we are becoming socialist/communist fast then most people know.

    I personally believe that a term limit (2 in most cases) is a good thing. It works for our president position, why wouldn't it be good for our City leaders. They start to yield the same power and corruption that the forefathers were aware of with the President's position.

    AJ-Please elaborate your position. I don't understand?

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  57. If Encinitas had term limits prior to the last election, Stocks, Bond and Houlihan wouldn't have been on the ballot. I suspect most of the people that want term limits would consider that good. However, I think that having a city council that had three first-termers, a half first-termer and Dalager might make for a mess.

    I don't like my options limited when picking my politicians. But I also see some benefits to term limits so I am a bit ambivalent.

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  58. And we don't have a mess now?

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  59. AJ-

    No mess. We would have people equivelent to you and others on coucnil. Hence a massive improvements.

    Get to know your neighbors. There are plenty of people with way more intelligence with real meaningful lives that would step up and volunteer to lead the City for one or two four year terms.

    Come on AJ. Step up and be one of the lovers of Encinitas for 8 years along with other intelligent Encinitians. It can only be better than what we have seen in the last 20 years.

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  60. To me, this is an exciting conversation. Whether term limits happen or don't happen, it shows that many people care about our community and want to make the beautiful place we live in even better. If, for no other reason than that, I want to thank J.P, for posting this. There are a lot of highly intelligent people in this community. And many of them have the time and energy to commit to making it better. If you look at all of the commissioners, each person does it on their own time without getting paid (with the exception of planning). As a commissioner for Parks and Recreation, I enjoy giving back to the community. It is an honor and privilege to me. When the Environmental committee was first formed, there were probably 25 or so people that applied. Not all got on, but they applied. We have the talent. We have the people. What we don't seem to have is the ability to overcome some of the special interests that persuade council members to take their side over what might not be in the best interest of out community. And the key word is here is OUR. It is not one person's or one organizations, it is OURS. We pay taxes, we live here and some of us are fortunate enough to work here as well. So, for those interested in term limits, I am still available and up for it. Just e-mail me at lgreene98@aol.com. You probably won't be popular at the City, but you will be doing something. One poster pointed out that I will probably not get reappointed next year to the Parks and Rec Commission. I hope the Council proves that person wrong, but we shall see next year. I am not popular at City Hall. But, like Teresa, I am not in this for a popularity contest. I am in this because I care. I have lived here since 1983, so I am not a newbie. I have seen enough to know that, IMHO, the only way is term limits. As a matter of fact, I don't really like the concept. It is just the only way I can think of to level the playing field. Sorry for the long post.

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  61. Anyone who is on a commission, committee, or board can get paid. There's no set amount. The Council tried to get around the IRS requirements of issuing employee W-2s for the planning commissioners by calling the $100 a month max payment a car allowance.

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  62. I agree Dr. Lorri. thanks for all your efforts. Encinitas will soon turn the corner.

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  63. So is there any action on term limits yet? Whats next?

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