West Hollywood City Councilmember John D’Amico has
D’Amico stopped by the to add his name to the petition and pose for a photo opp.
Term-limit proponents touted D’Amico’s signing as a victory of sorts. None of the other four councilmembers have signed the petition.
When Weho Patch asked D’Amico why he signed, he said he wanted to help get it on the ballot so the voters can decide.
His signing may seem strange given that the Beverly Press reported he was opposed to term limits. D’Amico told Patch he is not necessarily opposed to term limits but believes other methods for creating change, specifically coalition building, can be more effective.
“I am not in favor of term limits as much as I am in favor of coalition building, but some people are. And some of those folks are my friends,” D’Amico said. “I think if they work hard and gather the right number of signatures; it should be on the ballot so that the entire city can have a chance to vote on the idea.”
D’Amico went on to say, “I still believe that the best route to change in local government is through coalition building and thoughtful, future-looking alternatives to the status quo.”
Finally, D’Amico said, “Whatever the outcome, everyone knows the residents love this city and believe its best days are ahead.”
Three four-year terms
The Term Limits group seeks to limit City Council members to three four-year terms of office, which could be served either consecutively or scattered, for a total of 12 years.
Of the current City Council members, John Heilman has served for 28 years, Abbe Land has served for 21, Jeff Prang has served for 15 and John Duran has served for 11. D’Amico, the new kid on the Council, has served for one year.
By state law, term limits can not be retroactive, so all of the current Council members would be allowed another 12 years if the voters choose to keep electing them.
The term limits group says term limits are needed in order to get fresh blood on the City Council. They argue that incumbent candidates have an advantage at the ballot box because of the political machines they already have in place as well as their name recognition with the voters and .
Term-limit opponents say that term limits prevent voters from continuing to elect good leaders who have served effectively.
The D'Amico Arguement
Both opponents and proponents of term limits point to D’Amico’s victory in 2011 to support their arguments.
Opponents point out that D’Amico was able to not only defeat an incumbent candidate (Lindsey Horvath), but also . They say if D’Amico can do it, other qualified candidates can do it as well.
Proponents say that D’Amico’s win is the exception that proves the rule. They point out:
1. Horvath had never faced the voters before as she was appointed to the City Council in May 2009, following the death of Councilmember Sal Guarriello who had served on the Council for 19 years.
2. D’Amico was able to amass a campaign – – when other non-incumbents were able to raise $20,000 or less.
3. D’Amico had the political backing of Councilmember John Duran who made numerous campaign appearances with D’Amico.
The Term Limits group has until Sept. 25 to collect approximately 2,400 signatures (10 percent of the registered voters in the city).
For more information on the Term Limits initiative, visit the official Weho Term Limits website.