Petition for Wilsonville City Council term limits gets enough signatures
A group of Wilsonville residents hoping for the placement of a measure on election ballots that would allow citizens to decide whether to impose term limits on Wilsonville City councilors has achieved its goal.
The City of Wilsonville confirmed Monday that the term-limits petition filed last year had enough signatures (2,414) to be referred to Wilsonville City Council. The group wants the measure to go on ballots in the May 19 election and will likely meet the deadline for ballot filing.
Wilsonville City Council will consider the initiative soon and has a few options. According to City Attorney Barbara Jacobson, the City can adopt the petition (then it would go into effect without an election), either reject the initiative or fail to take action (then the petition would be referred to a ballot measure), or reject the initiative and propose a competing ballot measure.
If passed into law, the petition would prevent councilors from serving for more than 12 years in a 20-year span and this rule would apply retroactively to current Mayor Tim Knapp and Councilor Charlotte Lehan, both of whom have exceeded that threshold.
The group, led by Frog Pond resident Doris Wehler, former council President Scott Starr, and real estate agent Debi Laue, initially submitted a petition with 2,500 signatures to the City of Wilsonville on Dec. 23.
Later, Clackamas County determined that 2,000 of those signatures were valid. But just weeks after receiving word from the county that it was short valid signatures, the group submitted over 500 more. And last Friday, Wheler announced that the group had met the threshold of 2,368 valid signatures.
Wehler said the group hired Summit Staffing Solutions to collect signatures and also relied on the efforts of about 20 volunteers. For more information on the initiative, visit https://wilsonvilletermlimits.com.
City mulls other term limits
In the process of deciding who to appoint to open seats on boards and commissions, Knapp wondered whether the City's term-limit rules for board and commission members should be tweaked.
On some boards and commissions, if you are appointed to a position in the middle of a term, that chunk of time until your term is up counts as a full term.
Knapp suggested to his fellow councilors during a meeting Monday, Jan. 6, that this policy be tweaked so that half a term or less of service doesn't count toward members' number of allowed terms.
In response, the council provided staff direction to present options related to the issue at a later date.
"People, as they gain expertise and experience, might have the opportunity to benefit the community by staying on longer," Knapp said.
City Manager Bryan Cosgrove said the City also could eliminate term limits for certain boards where long-term tenure might be beneficial, such as the Tourism Promotion Committee and the potential forthcoming board that could manage the city's sister-city relationship with Kitakata, Japan.
Knapp and Lehan previously objected to the idea that there should be term limits for councilors, and Lehan said at the meeting that boards and commissions are different because voters can choose to oust elected officials whereas they can't for members of boards and commissioners.
Also at the meeting, the Council reappointed Daphnee Legarza to the Budget Committee, Samy Nada to the Development Review Board Panel A and Kamryn Mesbah to the Planning Commission and appointed Jean Svadlenka and Ken Pitta to Development Review Board A, Katie Hamm and Nicole Hendrix to the Development Review Board, Jennifer Link Raschko, Jeffrey Redmon and Daniel Christensen to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Aaron Woods and Jennifer Willard to the Planning Commission, and Amy Day to the Wilsonville-Metro Community Enhancement Committee.
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