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Blog: West Hollywood Needs Term Limits—Vote YES on Measure C

With our current system of no term limits, little is done to mentor qualified candidates because seated council members, who can keep their seats for life, have no incentive to do so.

Measure C is a ballot measure for term limits for the City of West Hollywood. Measure C would establish a limit of three, four-year terms for city councilmembers. It is modeled on the 12-year term limits adopted for the L.A. County Board of Supervisors and many cities across California.

Measure C was placed on the ballot by dedicated community leaders. Over 60 West Hollywood residents volunteered to collect signatures in order to get term limits on the ballot. Nearly 3,500 West Hollywood residents signed the petition. 

YES on Measure C volunteers are from all walks of life; however, we all agree on at least one thing—West Hollywood needs term limits! 

Term limits is certainly not a new concept. In fact, Benjamin Franklin, James Madison, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson supported congressional term limits “to prevent every danger which might arise to American freedom by continuing too long in office...”

And, as recently as January 2013, a Gallup poll showed that 75 percent of Americans are in favor of term limits for our elected officials in DC. Yes, even among my fellow Democrats, a strong majority, 65 percent, said they would support term limits.

Term limits have led to more diversity among public officials—making city, county and state governments more representative of the people. Term limits create opportunities that would have been unavailable otherwise.

Non-incumbent community leaders, even experienced ones, face severe disadvantages when up against incumbents who have held their office for over 12 years. The power of incumbency cannot be underestimated. 

And, with our current system of no term limits, little is done to mentor qualified candidates because seated council members, who can keep their seats for life, have no incentive to do so. The current system fails in that it neither embraces nor encourages community leadership.

West Hollywood is a unique city that many different people (homeowners and tenants, young, middle aged and senior, LGBT and straight, Democrats, Republicans and Independents) consider home. Having a stake in the community is vital to all of us. That is why we became a city in the first place. But West Hollywood is at a crossroads and we must think about our city’s future. 

Our city’s future must not be dependent upon any one individual but, rather, must rely on an informed and engaged community that cultivates a constant stream of bright, eager and involved community leaders.

A community is a living, growing, ever-changing entity. Its governing body must continually be injected with new blood to keep it vibrant and fresh. Unfortunately, our long-time West Hollywood councilmembers are satisfied with the status quo.

Term limits, YES on Measure C, will result in a more active citizenry, and a happier and healthier city for all. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Riley February 04, 2013 at 11:17 PM
YES ON C is a good start to the changes we as citizens need and deserve.
Stephanie February 05, 2013 at 12:00 AM
The current council is opposed to term limits for fear of having inexperienced people get voted in, and yet, this council APPOINTED a hand-picked, young and inexperienced member in the form of Lindsay Horvath stripping ALL CITIZENS of their rights to ELECT a new council member. How did that happen?
Stephanie February 05, 2013 at 12:02 AM
I forgot to add.. VOTE YES ON C! And for more info click on this link: http://www.wehotermlimits.com/
Wendell Jones February 05, 2013 at 07:26 PM
Well of course perennial candidate Luren Meister supports term limits. She has never had enough voter support to win an election. Maybe she has not had support because she is less than truthful. This proposition was not placed on the ballot by "dedicated community leaders". Although a small group of local residents may have helped, signatures were gathered by paid signature gatherers paid for by the same right wing PAC that helped shove Proposition 8 down our throats. I spoke to a number of these paid shills at Trader Joe's and Gelson's near where I live and not one of them was from West Hollywood. Jon Fleischman, the Republican power broker who financed the signature gathering for this proposition also financed Prop 8 which was rammed down our throats in the name of democracy. He did not finance this effort because he believes in democracy. He financed it to change the politics of one of the most progressive cities in California. Term limits has consistently worked against progressives at the state level, where large corporate interests now dominate both parties.
Pete P February 05, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Nice try Lauren. Why don't you give us one success story where term limits have worked. Other than getting new faces elected, they have done nothing to improve government. Look at Sacramento. Term limits for the Assembly and Senate have just resulted in a bunch of inexperinced people getting elected who are forced to leave office as soon as they get the hang for the job. I would be much more likely to support this if all of the people who are behind this pledged to refrain from running for the newly vacated seats. Sour grapes.
Stephanie February 05, 2013 at 10:10 PM
@Pete, term limits work every four years in DC. Thank God or we would still be stuck with President George W. Bush. So you would like ALL 3,000 people who signed the petition to refrain from running for office? OK, I will start, I pledge NEVER to run for office. I'd rather gargle razor blades. Now I would like all those who are not "behind this" to pledge that if they do run, they will not take one dime from developers or other special interests.
me February 05, 2013 at 10:10 PM
TERM LIMITS ARE NECESSARY BECAUSE HEILMAN IS A DICTATOR, TYRANT, CHILDISH, CLASSLESS AND A BULLY.....SUMS IT UP IN MY HEAD!!
meister4weho February 05, 2013 at 10:14 PM
@Pete P. - That's why California voters passed Prop 28. Measure C gets it right the first time. http://www.wehotermlimits.com @Wendell J. - there certainly were over 60 West Hollywood resident volunteers, and they collected thousands of signatures. (The Republican/Tea Party story is getting old and is only going to backfire on you. )
me February 05, 2013 at 10:17 PM
HAHA....great response stephanie!!!.....you asked for it pete....i hope this changes yur vote now....hahaha
me February 05, 2013 at 10:37 PM
SOME FURTHER INSIGHT ON HEILMAN: At the core of extreme narcissism is egotistical preoccupation with self, personal preferences, aspirations, needs, success, and how he is perceived by others. Extreme narcissists tend to be persons who move towards eventually cutting others off and becoming emotionally isolated. Narcissism, in lay terms, basically means that a person is totally absorbed in self. The extreme narcissist is the center of his own universe. The extreme narcissist is frozen in childhood. He became emotionally stuck at the time of his major trauma of separation/attachment.
Rudolf Martin February 06, 2013 at 07:44 AM
i'm not sure that any non-incumbent can match the ethical standards demonstrated by our current council and their (oh ... i mean our) attorney: http://www.wehoville.com/2013/01/29/council-members-reimbursed-city-for-credit-card-expenses-in-october/#comment-1021
Wendell Jones February 06, 2013 at 05:28 PM
Lauren, the republican tea party story is only old to people who are embarrassed by it. I noticed you still have no explanation why Jon Fleischman wanted to pump thousands of dollars into West Hollywood. Because he believes in progressive Politics? Or is it because the right wing has their eye on our community and are happy to fund your cause? For people who want the right to vote for the candidates that best protect their community this story is totally fresh. It only gets old for those who want to take over this community through the back door.
scott ferguson February 06, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Earth to ME: Term limits wouldn't effect Heileman until 2023. What part of that fact fails to register with you? Thanks for proving that this anti-democratic effort is a part of settling personal agendas, rather than being in the best interests of West Hollywood.
meister4weho February 06, 2013 at 10:19 PM
Next to the money raised by our city council members and given by developers to stop term limits, California Term Limits PAC's "investment" in West Hollywood pales in comparison. I've personally never met Mr. Fleischman and won't defend his politics. But on the issue of term limits, apparently, we, and 65% of my fellow Democrats nationwide, agree... politicians need an expiration date. I am a Democrat and I support term limits. Vote YES on Measure C.
Riley February 07, 2013 at 09:19 AM
@Wendell, you are living in a city whose council stripped EVERY SINGLE citizen of the right to vote at all when they appointed Lindsay Horvath. The wealthy right wing is already running this city - they are the developers who are currently buying and selling West Hollywood, in the form of campaign contributions and in the incumbents campaign consulting - lobbyist, Steve Afriat is a prime example.
Wendell Jones February 07, 2013 at 07:27 PM
Riley, its silly to say citizens were stripped of our right to vote against Lindsay Horvath when she was voted out of office shortly after her interim appointment.The only thing the council did was not set a special election which would have wasted hundreds of thousands of dollars. I was very disappointed that a better candidate was not not appointed. Her lack of qualifications is what led CES, the organization I have worked with for years, to stay neutral and not endorse a candidate in that election. In retrospect that might have been a mistake. The winning candidate John D'Amico wasted no time in proposing the city set up a fund to pay for repairs for slum landlords who have refused to perform routine maintenance for years. Luckily the current incumbents running for office voted him down, which is one reason CES is endorsing them. And while I disagreed with positions both Prang and Duran have taken at different times, I think their records have been strong in terms of protecting rent controlled housing and developing more low cost housing. The only people who want to strip "EVERY SINGLE citizen of the right to vote" for the candidate of their choice are the term limits crew.
me February 07, 2013 at 08:18 PM
good lord, "earth to me"......really scott ?????.... yawn, yes scott, i know what is written into measure C....heilman (and the rest) would only get 3 terms (4 years each term, 12 years total) "if" they are elected by the people in all 3 elections....so perhaps you'd like to check your math.....whats more DEMOCRATIC than allowing people to VOTE on this issue???.....as you say, "what part of that fact fails to register with you?" ....you seem to want to deny folks their DEMOCRATIC opportunity to have their say at the polls and on this website.....once again, i ask what you have done PERSONALLY to defeat measure C.....ACTIONS speak louder than words, and after 3 requests, you still haven't responded to this very direct question
me February 07, 2013 at 08:27 PM
WATCH VIDEO: Heilman Refuses to Shake Fellow Councilman D’Amico’s Hand at Council Meeting---- http://www.wehoville.com/2013/01/23/watch-heilman-wont-shake-damicos-hand-at-council-meeting/
me February 13, 2013 at 05:22 AM
BREAKING NEWS....JOHN DURAN FRAUD: http://www.wehoville.com/2013/02/12/500-john-duran-campaign-donor-says-hes-never-heard-of-weho-councilmember/ UGH, APPALLING!!!….this piece speaks volumes as to why duran not only needs to go, but should also be investigated beyond the current investigation by the LA district attorney…. if you are as sick as we are about this crap, and other hideous stuff going down in weho, please join our group….we are working on plans to inform the public (through demonstrations, video, gorilla street marketing etc) as to what is going on in the remaining days before the election please email us at: takebackweho@aol.com ….our belief is that most residents have NO IDEA whats happening at city hall and we want to get the message out there QUICKLY….. it’s easy to complain on these websites, but this is a call for ACTION!!!!
me February 17, 2013 at 05:58 PM
JOIN COUNCILMAN JOHN D'AMICO IN VOTING YES FOR TERM LIMITS!!! http://www.wehoconfidential.com/2013/02/vote-yes-on-c-march-5th-2013.html#.USEZ-x2yBCA
Mike Dolan February 28, 2013 at 10:01 PM
MUST READ!!! http://www.wehonews.com/z/wehonews/archive/page.php?articleID=7730 LOOK AT THIS TOO!!! http://wehonews.com/z/wehonews/archive/page.php?articleID=7731
Scott H. Kidwell March 01, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Good luck to the Yes on C coalition. There are those of us in other cities, of both major parties, that believe term limits are a good thing whose time has come. around 20% of the cities in California now have some type of term limits. Term Limits, while no panacea to the infection of corruption and political entitlement that besets entrenched politicians, may be a much needed course correction to ensure the true power of government remains in the hands of the common people and not a reoccurring elected ruling class. At no time must the convenience or efficiency of government structure or a politicians desire to burrow themselves in office be allowed to diminish true citizen representation one whit.

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