Letters to the Editor
Wilsonville fortunate to have effective City Council
The most effective city councils have a mix of new faces and experienced veterans. The Wilsonville City Council has nurtured a culture of mentorship and knowledge-sharing that have benefited all of us.It seems to me that the current system has worked well for the first 50 years of our city's history. The average tenure of a councilor is only about six years, which has resulted in reasonable turnover and the opportunity for many residents to serve over the years.
Let our voters choose who they want to represent them. We should not let a few land speculators and airport developers limit our choice of candidates in an effort to benefit their own interests.If you believe in choice and open democracy, please vote no on term limits when your ballot arrives at the end of April.
Don't reduce choice in voting
The main problem with term limits is not the current or potential or future politicians vying for roles in government. The problem with term limits is that every time citizens voluntarily give up the right to make a choice about anything, the entire country becomes less free.
Why citizens are clamoring to give up the right to select their elected officials is a mystery to me.
Don't cut out experience, common sense
The Wilsonville initiative gang is back at it again.
This time they want to bypass the ballot box and dump our most experienced city councilors, Mayor Tim Knapp, and former mayor and current City Councilor Charlotte Lehan, those mainly responsible for Wilsonville's amazing success over the past two decades.
If we allow them to do that, they will nominate replacements with no City Council experience but committed to the mantra that the City, and surrounding areas such as the Aurora Airport, are ripe for expansion and increased development.
Wilsonville's Smart Growth policy, with its accompanying green space that our families have all learned to enjoy, will be replaced by developers vying to cash in on a piece of our beautiful rural surroundings.
We can't let that happen. The election ballot box is the place to decide which candidates best represent our aspirations. Term limits reduce that choice and often penalize the most experienced and most popular candidates.
Please join us in rejecting this attempt to bypass the normal electoral process on the May 19 ballot.
Learn from history of term limit debacles
"It sounded like a good idea, but if California is any indication, term limits are a recipe for political chaos and increased special interest influence."
The statement above was part of a headline in a "The American Prospect" magazine article in December 2001 after voters approved term limits for their legislators in 1990.
In 2012, voters were asked once again to vote on the issue, but this time they approved rolling back their prior approved limits. Now, in 2020, there is a push to further roll back the remaining limits.
California found that their newly elected representatives often were ill prepared to stand up to the special interest groups and their dedicated lobbyists. At the same time, representatives who were about to lose their positions were seen as perhaps less motivated to serve their constituents by standing up to the special interest groups.
In the same manner, power was shifted to the unelected staff as they began to deal with either rookie legislators or soon-to-be-leaving legislators.
Finally, in this time of a global health crisis, does anyone think it is best to have leadership with less experience? Or personally, would you say to your doctor, "You have served me well, but it has been 10 years so now I must find a new doctor?"
I urge a no vote on the City of Wilsonville term-limit ballot initiative. Let's keep the option of retaining experienced leadership.
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