Should county elected officials have a term limit, or should it stay just like it is in Montgomery County?
Well, the Montgomery County charter review commission held a public discussion that welcomed community input about just that; at the county council office building, on Wednesday morning.
“The reason that we’re doing this is because the county council of Montgomery County has asked us to give them our opinion. In theory someone could run as long as they live, but no one does that. I think the longest anyone has ever run was five terms and that was Marilyn Praisner,” said Montgomery County Charter Review Commission Member, Paul Bessel.
Some people think that having a term limit set in place will be best for the community for many reasons; including the fact that the population growth would be reflected fairly when electing new officials.
“It is my opinion that turnover of people in office is good for the public…good for the voters; and brings in fresh ideas and different perspectives on issues, and I’m supportive of term limits,” said Montgomery County Charter Commission Member, Larry Lauer.
While there are some who agree on having a term limit set in place, there are others who disagree.
“I’m on the side that I don’t think that we should have term limits because I started thinking that term limits were a good idea, but the more I read about what the effects of term limits were in other places where they’ve been put into effect the more I came to see that term limits just don’t work,” said Bessel.
Bessel says it should be up to the public to decide.
“If the public thinks that an elected official is doing a bad job- they should kick that person out. If they think that an elected official is doing a good job they should continue voting for him or her,” added Bessel.
A petition filed to limit the terms say county elected officials should not be able to run for no more than three terms; which equals 12 years.
The next step will be Montgomery County Charter Review Commission members meeting again in September to determine what facts they will report to council.