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Charter review committee to recommend term limit election

December 8, 2010

The city of Big Spring's charter review committee may not be able to agree whether term limits, initiatives and referendums are a good idea for the municipality, but the board was unanimously in favor of putting the issue before Crossroads voters during Tuesday night's meeting.

The committee voted unanimously to submit ballot language for term limits for the city council to consider Tuesday, as well as open discussions concerning initiatives and referendums during the same meeting, with a vote on the issue not being taken until the first meeting in January.

The decision to give the ballot language for term limits a thumbs up came fairly early in the meeting, with only a slight change made to the structure of the limits.

Mayor Tommy Duncan had previously proposed a two-term waiting period before a councilman or mayor would be eligible to run for election following a two-term seat on the council. However, the committee agreed Tuesday night a one-term period would be sufficient.

And while the members of the board — Duncan, City Attorney Lind Sjogren, City Finance Director Peggy Walker, council members Gloria McDonald and Craig Olson, former mayor and local business owner Tim Blackshear, and business woman Linda Fernandez — voted unanimously to pass the matter on to the council to ultimately be voted on by Big Spring citizens, the panel's opinions on whether or not the need for term limits is real was far from unified.

“I'm opposed to term limits,” Blackshear told the committee adamantly. “I feel like we're taking the citizen's right to vote for who they want to represent their district away from them. I've been contacted by between five and six local residents on this issue, and they are all very much against term limits.

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