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Council votes down term limit measure

January 12, 2011

Big Spring City Council members Craig Olson, left, and Terry Hansen listen to remarks during the group's meeting Tuesday night. (HERALD photo/Steve Reagan)

When it comes to putting the idea of term limits before the voters, the Big Spring City Council has had a change of heart.

By a 5-2 vote Tuesday, the council rejected a resolution that would have put a term limit proposition on the ballot during May's municipal elections. The vote comes weeks after the council gave its preliminary approval to the measure by a scant 4-3 majority.

Council members Terry Hansen and Stephanie Horton, who had supported the measure earlier, joined Joann Staulcup, Gloria McDonald and Manuel Ramirez Jr. in voting against the proposition.

Mayor Tommy Duncan and Craig Olson voted in favor of putting the measure on the May ballot.

A somber Duncan told the council it was selling the citizens of Big Spring short by not putting the measure on the ballot.

“I cannot express how utterly disappointed I am that this council is refusing the citizens the right to vote on such a significant issue,” Duncan said.

Hansen said feedback from his constituents convinced him to change his mind.

“This is probably the hardest decision I've ever had to make as part of the city council,” Hansen said. “On a personal basis, I'm against term limits at this level of government, but I did not have a problem with the voters having a say, and I still don't have a problem with them having a say. Having said that, after I received call after call after call (from people opposing the term-limit election), that weighed heavily in my decision (Tuesday).”

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