By Edwin Folven, 11/21/2012
The West Hollywood City Council voted Monday to place an initiative on the March 5 ballot that would establish term limits for city council members.
“We [now] change from being a signature-gathering effort into a ballot-focused campaign,” said Scott Schmidt, the West Hollywood Term Limits campaign manager. “Our volunteers have done tremendous work getting us to the ballot, but we must make sure that we finish the job on March 5.”
The decision to place the measure on the ballot came during the approval of the consent calendar, with no discussion. The current council members have expressed previously that they do not support term limits. However, West Hollywood Mayor Jeffrey Prang said voters would have a chance to decide the issue after more than 2,400 signatures from registered voters in the city were validated last week. The ballot measure’s approval was lauded by proponents of term limits in the city.
“We are confident in the people of West Hollywood, that there are many people who are qualified to serve on this city council and deserve a fair shot at serving their city,” West Hollywood resident Sheila Lightfoot said. “These council seats belong to the people of West Hollywood, not any one individual.”
The initiative calls for council members to be limited to three, four-year terms. The limits would not be retroactive, so current council members could serve three additional terms if the measure is enacted. Schmidt said the focus will now turn to gaining support from voters.
“It’s not personal. We are focused on running a positive campaign,” he said. “We are confident there are scores of intelligent, qualified people who will do a wonderful job on the council. We want to run a campaign that is in touch with the people, who will see that we need a change in West Hollywood. We are going to focus on creating positive change, and we will be going door-to-door.”