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Why You Should Vote 'No' On Pacifica City Council Term Limits

Bill Collins is a local environmentalist and a member of the group opposing Measure V, which will be on November's ballot and restrict Pacifica City Council members to two terms per lifetime.

Do you think that term limits for our Pacifica City Council might improve how our city government runs?  Think again.

Even if you believe that term limits have merit, Measure V is too extreme.  It imposes a permanent ban on our ability to re-elect someone after a second term, even if they sit out few years. That's a ban for life! 

Would term limits improve our city government? The people pushing Measure V haven't said how it would. They've refused invitations to debate it.  Being frustrated with government isn't a good reason to take away our right to keep somebody on the job if we wish.

Pacifica voters have sometimes decided to keep Council members past two terms. Sometimes we've ousted incumbents. We vote on the merits of each individual candidate, an option that V would limit. The City Council would not be able to correct the flaws in V.

Measure V is about limiting democracy. Of all the problems facing Pacifica, the ability of voters to elect candidates of our choosing isn't one of them. Let's retain our right to decide on each candidate's merits and reject Measure V's rigid, permanent restriction on our voting rights. 

Jay Summers October 08, 2010 at 05:10 AM
No on V only supports a libertarian agenda of confusion and distrust of government. Pacifica residents have the right to choose -- every time we vote. Many of our best public servants were and are longtime local residents who cared enough to give their time and interest -- it is against Pacifica's best interest to limit these people to just one term.
Bill Collins October 08, 2010 at 06:00 PM
I think Jay means the "Yes on V" is the distrust agenda. Sometimes it's easy to see our government as "us" vs "them," but the "them" are just citizens we've chosen to do a time-consuming job, not some alien crew with no accountability. With Meaaure V, we'd have lame duck Councilmembers...would some be less accountable knowing that they could never face the voters again?
Jeffrey Simons October 24, 2010 at 05:51 AM
Bill, obviously I support Measure V, but I respect your opinion and I do want to correct you on one misunderstanding: "Measure V is about limiting democracy." If you think term limits are about "limiting democracy", you need to crack a history book. Every healthy democracy since Athens has had term limits. The foundation of good democracies have always been "public servants". Most public officials stepped down after 2 terms out of respect for this idea, to return to their private lives, jobs, and families. The idea of "professional politicians" is relatively recent. And without term limits, we'd probably be enjoying our third term under President Dubya. How great do you think that would have been?

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