By Edwin Folven, 8/02/2012
The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted down a measure Tuesday that would have created a November ballot measure to extend the number of terms from three to five.
The proposal, which was authored by Supervisor Mike Antonovich, 5th District, would have enabled four of the five supervisors to remain in office after they are termed out in 2014. Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky, 3rd District, criticized the proposal, stating that it “made a mockery” of the board in light of a ballot initiative approved by voters in 2002 limiting the supervisors to three terms. Four of the five current supervisors — Yaroslavsky, Antonovich, Supervisor Gloria Molina, 1st District, and Supervisor Don Knabe, 4th District — had already been in office for several years prior to 2002. If approved, the proposal would have enabled Antonovich, who was first elected in 1980, to serve a total of 44 years in office. Yaroslavsky was first elected to the board in 1994, while Molina was first elected in 1991, and Knabe in 1996.
Antonovich was unavailable for comment, but his spokesman Tony Bell said the supervisor wanted to give voters the chance to choose the most qualified candidates. Bell said in light of the tough financial times facing many cities and counties, the current board is best suited to guide Los Angeles County into the future.
“The supervisor said the term limits have been a wrecking ball in municipalities around the state,” Bell added. “He believes in responsible fiscal solvency and good management, and believes the voters should not be denied the right to choose whoever they want to represent them on the Board of Supervisors.”
Joel Bellman, a spokesman for Yaroslavsky, said the supervisor did not want to go against the will of the voters who approved term limits in 2002.
“He thought it was a questionable idea that would not meet with favor from the voters,” Bellman added.