Inside Opinion

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Tag: term limits

May
26th

Puyallup City Council doesn’t need term limits

This editorial will appear in Thursday’s print edition.

It’s about time the Puyallup City Council debated imposing term limits – if for no other reason than to give the idea a full hearing before shelving it.

Council members have unsuccessfully tried to broach the question of term limits twice in the last two years. Each time, the debate was checked before it began.

Now it appears the council may be warming to the idea. On Tuesday, council members asked city staff to prepare a resolution authorizing an advisory vote in November. The council – which has the final say on term limits since Puyallup residents don’t have the power of initiative or referendum – will consider placing the measure on the ballot at a future meeting.

Term limits do guarantee turnover in elected offices. But whether that turnover or the mechanism by which it is achieved is always a good thing depends on who’s doing the judging.

Read more »

Sep.
8th

Term limits solution? The American Revolutionaries

The upcoming Pierce County elections have us debating “term limits” again. One of the ballot proposals, if passed, would eliminate the term limit voters earlier placed on the Pierce County executive.

The debate over term limits usually breaks us into two camps. Advocates argue that elected officials sometimes grow too powerful and unresponsive when they have served a long time. Opponents argue officeholders need experience to master their jobs and gain expertise; and, besides, the voters have the means to turn them out in periodic elections.

Both arguments have merit, but the point I want to make here is this debate is nothing new. The term limit movement did not originate, as some believe, with New Gingrich and the 1994 GOP surge (though term limits certainly made headway during the 1990s).

The debate over term limits goes back over 233 years to the American Revolution. And the Founders provide a solution – a compromise – that would synthesize the above viewpoints. Read more »