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Tacoma mayor — once opposed to term limits — opposes current move to abolish them

Post by News Tribune Staff on June 30, 2008 at 3:39 pm | No Comments »
June 30, 2008 3:39 pm

Tacoma City Councilwoman Connie Ladenburg said she thinks she has enough support from her colleagues to pass a resolution tomorrow that would let voters decide this fall whether to abolish term limits for Tacoma council members.

She better not be counting on a “yes” vote from Mayor Bill Baarsma


Baarsma told me this afternoon that he isn’t necessarily opposed to the idea of extending or removing term limits.

Baarsma actually served on the Charter Review Commission in the early ’70s that is responsible for the current 10-year limit on consecutive service as a mayor or City Council member.

And he opposed the idea at the time.

Baarsma, then a bearded college professor, reasoned that voters get a chance every election to impose their own term limits.

But Baarsma doesn’t like the way Ladenburg is attempting to rush the issue onto this fall’s ballot.

The City Charter “shouldn’t be amended on a piece-meal basis unless something is really broken,” Baarsma said.

The charter has been reviewed three times since term limits were imposed in 1973, Baarsma noted, and the community has not cried out for a change in the term limit rule

“It’s legitimate to discuss it,” Baarsma said. “But it should be through the charter review process.”

UPDATE: Ladenburg didn’t get Baarsma’s vote, but she didn’t need it. The resolution passed 5-4, meaning voters will decide Nov. 4 whether to keep or eliminate term limits.

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