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Term limits – and Tacoma – in the New York Times

Post by News Tribune Staff on Sep. 10, 2008 at 11:25 am with No Comments »
September 10, 2008 11:25 am

The New York Times has a great story today about the nationwide backlash against term limits.

Guess who’s quoted? Nevermind, I’ll tell you:

Some officials pushing the changes say the turnover created by term limits robs an elected body of valuable institutional memory. In Tacoma, four of the city’s nine council members will be forced from office by January 2010 after completion of their second four-year terms. That worries Councilwoman Connie Ladenburg, who has spent years pushing for a $2 million pedestrian and bike trail, among other projects.

"That is when I thought, ‘This is crazy.’ If I go away, and it’s not completed, what will happen?" she said.

As a result, Ms. Ladenburg shepherded a November referendum to overturn term limits. "The public wonders why we don’t get things done. Well, you have to be there awhile to get things done."

But there’s more drama to the Tacoma story. Since Ladenburg didn’t go through the usual channels to get the referendum on the ballot, some city officials seem less-than-jazzed about it from the start.

At a meeting last month to decide who would write the arguments for the voters’ pamphlet, only one person signed up to write the argument for Ladenburg’s referendum.

Thoughts on term limits?

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