Santa Monica Observer - Community, Diversity, Sustainability and other Overused Words

By David Ganezer
Observer Staff Writer 

Santa Monicans for City Council Term Limits Seeks to Upend 20 year Terms

They're on the City council forever. But that may finally change


Workmen install a pipe in front of City hall.

When you're elected to City Council, it's lifetime position. Herb Katz, Christine Reed, Ken Genser and had to be carried out practically. They all died on the Council. The latter 2 had parks named after them by their similarly long serving survivors.

Santa Monicans for City Council Term Limits has begun raising money to put term limits on the ballot.

The measure would restrict city leaders to no more than 3 four year terms. With the exception of Ted Winterer, the entire 7 member council have served for more than 20 years.

"The state of California, the County of Los Angeles Supervisors, and surrounding progressive cities – Los Angles, Culver City, West Hollywood, and Malibu have adopted term limits," said the Group in an e mail that circulated April 1, 2018.

"They understand the power of incumbency and the special interests that keep incumbents in office. These state, county and city leaders want smart, committed people to bring fresh perspective and ideas toward solving local problems such as traffic, crime and homelessness. Term limits regularly renew city leadership with new ideas for the future."

Longtime City Councilmember Kevin McKeown doubted term limits would bring real political reforms. The Santa Monica Daily Press quoted him as saying:

"We've watched term limits turn Sacramento over to lobbyists and special interests," he said. "Leveling the playing field for new candidates calls for getting money and privilege out of politics, not restricting voters' choice to retain experienced, effective representatives. I've championed clean public campaign finance laws in Santa Monica, only to be stymied by entrenched money, which distorts democracy. We need to provide financial support for genuine citizen representatives to lead our community, not just the corporate-sponsored or self-funding wealthy."

The group hopes to collect 10,000 signatures by April 30th, in order to place the measure on the November 2018 ballot. This is a daunting task in a City with around 60,000 registered voters.


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