The League of Women Voters of Bellingham/Whatcom County endorses a no vote on Charter Amendment Proposition 7, term limits for County Council and county executive positions. A primary goal of the league is to support and encourage representative democracy, and we believe imposing term limits on local offices takes power away from voters. When it comes to choosing their leaders, Whatcom County citizens deserve more options, and restricting who can run for county government and who can’t potentially takes away good candidates for public office.
Furthermore, veteran legislators and executives can bring vital experience on issues and procedure. Increasing turnover could decrease the amount of practical knowledge on the County Council. Most importantly, an effective method for limiting a person’s time in office already exists; the voters can simply vote not to re-elect that person. This is the way a democratic society should express its frustrations with a politician who is not doing his or her job well, not by putting a time limit on their service to the local electorate.
The league takes positions only after carefully studying issues and building a consensus. Our position on term limits comes from a national consensus in 1992.