Term limits prevent Iliff City Council from making progress – Sterling Journal-Advocate

Once again, Iliff City Council is asking voters to repeal term limits for city administrators in November.

This is not the first time Iliff City Council has asked for it, and the question has always been dismissed. Even an attempt to reduce the size of the council from seven to five was rejected by voters, and no one will run and stand for election to serve a full term.

Nothing has changed in the past two years.

While we’ve never been a big fan of term limits, we particularly hate them at the local level. Our institutional memory is that of public servants who have served for years, even decades, as city councillors, county commissioners and school board members. They have served well and honorably and have brought to the community the wisdom of many years of experience.

This is especially true in small towns, where city councils struggle to keep administrators on their boards and find it nearly impossible to get new people to run or even apply for office. Rollover is an ongoing problem; in Iliff, three trustees have resigned abruptly with little or no explanation in just one year, and city councils are constantly having to fill vacancies.

Term limits force inexperienced and often reluctant citizens to fill vacancies, while willing and experienced administrators are sidelined. Moreover, those who are pushed to enlist often find the tasks heavier than they had anticipated and sometimes do not even fulfill the unexpired terms for which they are appointed.

Repealing term limits for city council members would ensure that people who wish to serve can serve, at least until challenged by someone else. Anyone who thinks a director needs to be replaced is more than welcome to run for office and offer an alternative.

We advise an affirmative vote on the issue of the Iliff ballot. It’s time to vote ‘yes’ and make progress.

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