May 26th, 2018

Term-limit question should be put to the people

By Letter to the Editor on May 16, 2018.

Let me say right at the start I am in favour of term limits at all levels of government. That said the same rules for all levels government would, in my opinion, be very hard to enact. So I will contain my comments in regards to term limits at the municipal level. My opinion is it should be a two-term position for the mayor’s office and a three-term office for councillor.

Having watched the recording of the motion put forward by Coun. Kris Samraj at the last council meeting, I was shocked to the point I had to watch it several times to ensure I was not being judgmental upon hearing some of the comments made around the council table. There are many opinions in regards to this matter, and many arguments for and against term limits.

What I heard in opposition to this motion being passed was the eradication of the democratic right of the people and even some premature “politicking” by some opposed, almost to the point of fear-mongering with talk of the “slippery slope.” The “slippery slope” has already begun when elected officials vote against the conversation even being had!

Personally I would like the term limits to be left up to the local municipality to decide. However, the conversation has to be had and process followed.

So let us focus on the rights of the people/voters. Given council itself was split 5/4 (against) the city should hold a referendum to direct council on what route to take in this matter. If said referendum produced a majority opposed to term limits then the matter is closed. However if the majority were in favour of term limits, then council would have been directed to act upon what the majority of this city would like to see. And council should open the conversation and strive to achieve what the tax paying voters of this city want.

That is democracy.

Wayne Smith

Medicine Hat

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