Term Limits Subject of Charter Amendment

The Metro Council deferred a proposed charter amendment last week that would clarify some term limit issues for council members, but the amendment will return later in the year.

During last summer’s election, several district council members ran for at-Large seats, reasoning that the two are different offices as part of the 40-member Metro Council. Others criticized the move saying it violated the 1994 charter amendment voters passed limiting Metro office holders to two terms.

Councilman Sam Coleman chairs the Charter Revision Committee. He says the proposed amendment will officially allow district council members to run for at-large seats.

“We need to know exactly what it is the public would like for us to think of this issue of term limits. I think when we first undertook it…they did it in such a way that was generic and we along the way have tightened it up, tightened it up, and now we’re at the point of tightening up one more loophole, one more issue that is kind of vague.”

The proposed amendment would also clarify that serving less than two years of a partial term won’t count as a full term.

Once a charter amendment passes the Council by 27 votes, it has to be put to voters within 180 days. By deferring the issue until at least April, it will allow the proposal to be on the August ballot instead of triggering a special election.

Coleman says he’ll call an informational meeting on the proposal later this spring to gather public input on the term limits issue.

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