county term limits


Term Limit Proposal:  Scott Wills [Elbert County Republican Party Chairman] came before the Board to request that the Board of Commissioners consider placing a ballot measure on the November 2009 ballot to eliminate statutory term limits for the offices of Assessor, Clerk & Recorder, Coroner, Sheriff, Surveyor & Treasurer and that the ballot question be separate for each office.  Commissioner Shipper made a motion to place the removal of term limits on the ballot and each office be listed individually on the November ballot for consideration of the public.  Commissioner Schwab seconded the motion.  The roll having been called, the Chair declared the motion unanimously carried and so ordered.

With minimal discussion the following resolutions were passed:

Measures to remove term limits in Elbert County have gone down at the polls in each of the last two general elections.  All 3 current Commissioners resided in Elbert County during those elections.  Nevertheless, on the strength of the above request, 2 of 3 Commissioners signed resolutions that read, “the Elbert County Board of County Commissioners believes that in the interest of better and more efficient government it is desirable to permit the [above elected officials] to serve more than two terms.”

I would have been a lot happier if the Elbert County Commissioners had found that the VOTERS should have the option of deciding whether the above elected officials should serve more than two terms.  Instead, the resolutions basically acknowledge that without term limits we’ll be stuck with the same elected officials until they decide to quit or until they end up crosswise with the law.  To favor removal of term limits in Elbert County means you have a low regard for elections, voters, and the messy trappings of representative democracy.

A proponent of the above measures said to me last night, “Go find a better a candidate [for one of the above offices.]”  Now, isn’t that a little like bringing a knife to a gun fight?  Go find a better candidate to run against an entrenched incumbent?  Do I look stupid?

If the system is set up to crowd out new talent you won’t get new talent.  It’s patently absurd to assume that the current complement of office holders are the best possible.  Not to disparage them, but the day we become complacent with our public servants is the day we surrender our freedom to them.


July 13, 2009
The July meeting of the Elbert County Democratic Women was called to order at 6 pm at the Kiowa Pizza ….. Those present were  ……Sheriff Wm Frangis.

Sheriff Frangis spoke to the November election and the elimination of term limits for County Officials. 47 counties have removed all term limits while some others have changed from 2 to 3 terms. This will be on the November mail in ballot and each elected office will be voted on separately. The County Commissioners are not included on the ballot. The Sheriff stressed that this is not a partisan issue.

The fact that both political parties want perpetual licenses on our public offices raises some red flags.
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