I am writing to voice my opposition to Proposition 473 which would preclude a person from being eligible to be elected or appointed to the office of councilmember or mayor for more than two, two-year terms, including terms served prior to the passage of this measure.
The main problem I see with this proposition is that it would deny our town the talents of highly experienced past and current council members.
Unlike the elections for federal, state and large city offices where there is a large pool of qualified candidates for office, this is not the case in small towns like Carefree. To deny current and past office holders the ability to serve the town does not make sense. Short term limits like that of Proposition 473 deny our citizens the ability to vote for the best candidates by excluding some of the most qualified ones.
Regarding the concern that it is bad for the town to have the same people on the council for an extended period, I can tell you from my experience in living for over 40 years in a medium sized Minnesota city, that this should not be a concern. The current mayor in my former city has served effectively for over 10 years as have most of the council members. These people continue to get elected because they are highly competent and experienced council members who have done an excellent job for many years. They consistently get favorable ratings in surveys of the citizens in this city. In fact this city was selected in the list of the 10 best cities in the country to live in by Money Magazine several years ago.
I am going to vote for the candidates with the most experience and those are the incumbent council members: John Crane, Vince D’Aliesio, Tony Geiger, Stephen Hatcher, Michael Johnson and Cheryl Kroyer. With a number of critical and possibly costly decisions to be made during the next council term, I want to go with these candidates who have the experience and good judgment to make these difficult decisions.