Updated: County to Discuss Extending Term Limits for Board of Supervisors

At Tuesday's meeting, the board will discuss voting to put a measure on November's ballot to increase the number of terms a County Supervisor can serve from three to five.

Updated: The Board on the measure for a week.

Original: The County Board of Supervisors will discuss a ballot measure at Tuesday's meeting that would increase the number of terms someone can serve on the board from three four-year terms to five.

The measure was proposed by County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, who represents much of the San Gabriel Valley, including unincorporated Altadena, La Crescenta, and unincorporated parts of Arcadia and Monrovia.

When asked why he proposed the change, Antonovich's chief deputy Tony Bell, provided the following statement:

This current Board has a proven track record of fiscal responsibility and effective management that has kept the county solvent and able to meet its obligations. 

With many municipalities in economic crisis, voters deserve the opportunity to choose who they feel is the most-experienced and best-qualified to navigate the county through tough times.

If passed by the Board on Tuesday, the measure would go on the November 6 ballot for voters to approve or reject.

Voters introduced term limits for the Board of Supervisors for the first time in 2002; previously there were no limits.

The 2002 measure allowed all incumbent Board members to run for three more terms and for all new candidates to be limited to three terms.

Under the laws set up by that measure Antonovich would be termed out of office in 2016, as would Supervisor Don Knabe. Supervisors Gloria Molina and Zev Yaroslavsky will be termed out in 2014.

The measure being discussed Tuesday would allow for all four to serve for two more four-year terms.

The current ballot language proposed in Antonovich's motion does not make any mention of  existing three term-limit law.  It reads:

Limits any person elected to the office of member of the Board of Supervisors to five consecutive terms commencing December 2002; except that, such limitation shall not apply to any unexpired term if the remainder of that term is less than one-half of the full term

Antonovich's deputy, Bell, said that the language could possibly be changed at Tuesday's meeting.  

The proposed language came from the County Counsel's office, according to Lori Wiese, another Antonovich staffer.  She said that if the proposed language stays intact and the measure is put on the ballot, the information about the existing three-term limit could go into the ballot analysis the county provides for voters.

Tuesday's Board of Supervisors meeting is at 9:30 a.m. in the Board's Hearing Room at the county building in downtown L.A. at 500 West Temple Street. It can be viewed online here.


Dave Skibinski July 24, 2012 at 12:41 AM
This type of policy / making should not be made based upon the individuals holding the office. Antonovich's reason has no merit. The question that should really be answered: regardless of whom holds the office, are the people better served by longer terms of office. Let's ask the supervisors that question.
rebel mamma July 24, 2012 at 01:23 AM
Um. NO.
Steve Lamb July 24, 2012 at 03:55 AM
Actually, YES the people are MUCH better served by long term office holders. People who have institutional memory and who have seen well intended ideas bit by unintended consequences. Has California governance improved or devolved since term limits? Devolved.It's a failed idea and I actually have to agree with Supervisor Antonovich.
pusddad July 24, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I agree with you on this one.
Mike July 24, 2012 at 06:22 PM
Limited terms leaves the office holder more time to concentrate on his duties vs. re-election. Unlimited terms or terms to this excess is the basis for corruption. This is along the lines of the "Good Ol Boys Club" that exists today in all levels of our gov't. To serve was originally a volunteer typ of service to do these jobs was never intended to be a full time occupation it was something to do as a civil duty. It should be no more then 1 term.


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