Council Yanks Term Limit Ordinance for Commissions from Agenda

Tuesday March 20, 2007

An ordinance passed 5-4 March 13 that would have limited the number of years a person can sit on certain commissions and impose restrictions on the number of commissions on which a person can sit was rescinded 8-0-1 at Tuesday’s council meeting, with Councilmember Laurie Capitelli abstaining. 

Had the council approved the second reading of the ordinance on its agenda Tuesday, community members were set to challenge it with a petition to put it on the ballot as a referendum at the nest election. 

The future of the measure—whether it is dead or will come back in the same or a different form—will be discussed at the April 16 agenda committee meeting. 

On Monday, John Selawsky, Igor Tregub, Patti Dacey, Laurie Bright and Howard Chong submitted a petition to referend the ordinance to the city clerk, so that they could begin collecting signatures immediately upon passage of the ordinance. They would have 30 days from approval of the law to collect 4,073 signatures. 

The measure that passed on the first reading would apply to four quasi-judicial commissions: the Housing Advisory Commission, the Landmarks Commission, the Zoning Adjustments Board and the Planning Commission and would: 

• limit the number of years a commissioner could sit on these commissions to eight consecutive years. After a two-year break, the commissioner could be reappointed to the commission; 

• prohibit a person who serves on one of the key commissions from serving on any other board or commission, with the exception of elected commissions and the Library Board of Trustees.  

Voting to oppose the ordinance on March 13 were councilmembers Linda Maio, Kriss Worthington, Dona Spring and Max Anderson.