The newly formed Poway Term Limits Committee officially kicked off its campaign Thursday after its leaders filed the necessary paperwork with the City Clerk’s office to get their issue on the ballot.
The seven-member committee—which was originally formed with the guidance of Councilman Dave Grosch—worked on the petition. Carmen Cimicato, David Radcliff and Laura Van Tyne officially filed the paperwork, and David Haessig came along to support.
“Term limits for Poway—that’s the ultimate goal,” Van Tyne said.
The City Council voted 3-2 Feb. 22 against the proposal for city staff to study term limits for council members. Grosch initially proposed the study, and Councilwoman Merrilee Boyack supported it.
Following the vote, Grosch, who had lobbied for term limits throughout his campaign, said he would bring the issue to a “public debate” and eventually place the issue on the November 2012 ballot.
Councilman Jim Cunningham, who voted against the proposal along with Mayor Don Higginson and Councilman John Mullin, said he would have voted differently for the proposal had signatures of support been presented to the council.
“When (Grosch) was out campaigning, the most common element he heard was the citizens wanted term limits, and so he incorporated that into his campaign,” Van Tyne said. “Now he’s living up to his campaign promise.”
The petition states that candidates or appointees may not serve more than two consecutive councilmember terms or more than two consecutive mayoral terms. It also states that candidates or appointees may not serve more than four consecutive terms as a mayor and/or councilmember.
Without term limits, Van Tyne said incumbents have “a huge advantage.”
“This kind of levels out the playing field,” she said. “It returns the citizen-politician back to our community, versus a professional politician.”
Cimicato said: “We have a lot of people in this city that would be stellar performers on the city council, but it’s very difficult for them to break into that. This makes it easier.
“We’re not saying that the city council is doing poorly,” he added. “What we’re saying is there’s other people that deserve to have an opportunity.”
Radcliff said term limits would lead to fresh ideas, and Haessig said term limits would help fight complacency.
The city attorney will respond to the committee within 14 days, Van Tyne said. The city will prepare an impartial ballot statement to circulate.
To make the ballot, the committee will need 2,800 signatures but it is aiming for 3,500.
“We don’t see that as being a problem,” she said.
The committee currently has approximately 300 subscribers on its email list, she added.
For more information, about the committee and the petition, visit http://powayfortermlimits.blogspot.com/
What a candidate or appointee can do:
Serve two consecutive terms as councilmember.
Serve two consecutive terms as councilmember and two more terms as mayor.
Serve two terms as councilmember, wait two years, and serve again.
Serve one term as mayor, one term as councilmember and two terms as mayor.
Serve two terms as councilmember, one term as mayor and one term as councilmember.
Serve four terms on the council, wait two years, and serve again.
What a candidate or appointee cannot do:
Serve more than two consecutive councilmember terms.
Serve more than two consecutive mayoral terms.
Serve more than four consecutive terms as a mayor and/or councilmember.