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City Council Places Term Limits Measure on March Ballot

More than 3,000 residents signed a petition calling for a vote on whether council members can serve a maximum number of terms in office.

The City Council unanimously approved on Monday a petition to have voters decide if council members should be subject to term limits. The proposed ordinance seeks to establish a three-term maximum.

More than 3,000 people who are registered to vote in West Hollywood signed the petition, according to a report by the city clerk. In order to qualify for the ballot, petitioners need at least 10 percent of the city's 23,438 voters.

"I am not supportive of term limits ... but the signatures were collected, and it deserves to go to the people," Mayor Pro Tempore Abbe Land said.

"We can't make it personal, we can't make it about individuals," said Scott Schmidt, who organized the petition drive. "We've got to give people hope that they can fully participate in the public process here in West Hollywood without being intimidated by someone who will call them up because they attended a fundraiser for someone."

West Hollywood resident Ivy Bottini countered, "We have term limits, it's called an election. ... Term limits is a nasty way to get rid of people that they can't get enough votes to defeat them in an election."

State law prohibits ballot initiatives from applying retroactively. If voters enact the term limits ordinance, newly elected or re-elected council members would begin their first four-year term in 2013.

Four of the five city council members have served for more than a decade: Mayor Jeffrey Prang for 15 years, Councilman John Heilman for 27 years, Mayor Pro Tempore Abbe Land for 20 years and Councilman John Duran for 11 years. 

The election for city council and the term limits measure is March 5. Mayor Jeffrey Prang and Councilman John Duran face re-election challenges.

Woody McBreairty November 21, 2012 at 08:11 PM
If "someone" in public office is engaging in voter intimidation, how is that not "personal"? Whoever is trying to play down the seriousness of the responsibility of the individual/s who are engaging in such illegal activity, is either a dope or hiding their head in the sand for their own political purposes & are lacking in leadership. It is indeed personal and it is reprehensible. I want to know exactly who, as a holder of West Hollywood public office, or otherwise, is making calls to intimidate those who choose to participate in community political activities. Was it John Duran who made these allegedgly intimidating calls... was it Jeffrey Prang? If not, who was it? And how does that speak to their character? Not very well I must say. I deserve to know this before I vote again, and so does every other responsible citizen with any sense of responsibility to the community, & who demands some semblance of civility and common decency in our local politics. The voters of the city deserve more respect than this from those they elect to serve them, and it makes me very angry to hear someone say this is not "personal". It is personal enough that I want to know who did it so I can put my money on throwing them out of office in the next election. It is that "personal."
90069 November 21, 2012 at 08:55 PM
How the hell has John H been on the council for 27 years!? That seems ridiculous, is he trying to run for a paragraph in the Guiness book of records. If he were trully a skilled politico wouldn't he have moved on to other higher public positions rather than camping out in West Hollywood for almost 3 decades. West Hollywood is a truly unique and diverse City. We need to do a better job of grooming leaders that have ambitions of serving the larger community after some time and letting others into the local process.
GoodGriefCharlieBrown November 21, 2012 at 11:45 PM
If I remember correctly, during the last CC campaign, Ivy Bottini spoke at a CC meeting and made a rather rattled & boisterous demand that Lindsey Horvath be elected to the City Council (along with Abbe Land's re-election.) I paraphrase, but her embarassing tirade ended with something like "These 2 women are under attack. We cannot stand women hating in this city.! I do not want 5 men on the city council. I want 2 women on this council - do it now!" What an impersonal, objective & rational way to support your candidate(s). Must be her "nasty" way of supporting people who obviously can't get enough votes to get elected. I think it's called a double standard.
West Hollywood Central November 22, 2012 at 04:05 AM
When I heard about the allegations about John Duran possibly interfering with fair elections, what came to mind is - Is John Duran still under investigation by the DA for improper use of city money? Is Weho still paying his legal bills? What has that cost so far? If he is re-elected, will the City stop paying his legal bills? How secretive can the City get away with being about such matters?
GoodGriefCharlieBrown November 22, 2012 at 05:23 AM
Flagrantly unaddressed as well, one of these council people's "friend" of 20 years, I'm advised, is in jail on alleged big time corruption charges. OJT? The stench just gets stronger. It might be beneficial to the voting public if one of the publishers of local "news" who isn't "friends" with everyone they write about, would put out some objective truthful and useful information that would be more enlightening to their readers than the usual hallow and rhetorical nonsense they presently try to pass off as "news." But it does look like they are having fun.
me November 22, 2012 at 06:22 PM
see a whole lot of crazy for yourself: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK1CMhZjaiI
GoodGriefCharlieBrown November 22, 2012 at 07:16 PM
Oh what a major cringe moment - how sad. She must have her own version of "democracy". This rant is pathetic but still quite amusing. No wonder her candidate lost.
me November 23, 2012 at 06:34 AM
does anyone else find it odd that we aren't allowed to comment on jeff prang's blog about the new signals at crosswalks???....why did it take so long for the city to address this major safety issue???.....in fact, only 3 of the many such crosswalks in weho are getting them right now.....some people have been hit by cars while crossing while many, many others have experienced near-misses....WHY was an expensive new library mausoleum and robo parking garage behind city hall and rainbow crosswalks more important than the safety of our citizens and visitors????.....someone please answer me that....
Ali November 23, 2012 at 11:24 PM
Because you can't put your name on a crosswalk???
GoodGriefCharlieBrown November 24, 2012 at 02:01 AM
Prang will be replaced in March if the voters have any degree of discretion. He is simply not qualified for this position & has been dragged thru the years on the apron strings of Heilman & Land. I'm still wondering why he has such a sketchy personal work history, as far as I know, all he has ever "worked" at are what seem to me to be dubious hand-out "personal favor" jobs, created by political "friends" who are living off the tax payer dime themselves. I seriously cannot figure out who he is or why he wants to be on this City Council or what his purpose in life at all is. Apparently he just wants to be there because he wants to be there. I'll hold my nose & vote for Duran if I have to, but I know my pen would refuse to deposit ink on the little ballot circle with Prang's name on it. I'm sure Landavazo won't win, but it sure would be fun & refreshing to have a cute, young & easier-on-the-eyes face on the council for a change.
Insider November 26, 2012 at 04:57 PM
If the new challengers can articulate how they'll bring value to West Hollywood politics, I believe it is important to support their campaigns. Unfortunately for them, it is hard to stand out from the crowd when everyone believes in the same thing. Diversity of thought is no way to win a campaign in WeHo.

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