Term Limits Win A Place On Ballot

LA MESA -- The effort to apply term limits in La Mesa has passed one of its most difficult obstacles.

The La Mesa City Clerk has notified the La Mesa Term Limits supporters, that the signatures they gathered had passed inspection, clearing the way for a vote by the city's voters in the November election.

"I've done enough of these efforts to know you never know if everything was done right until you get the word,'' said Bill Baber, the local political operative, who helped organize the term limit petition process. "We're glad it is done and now it is up to the voters.''

Baber (in photo right), currently serves on the La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board and is a candidate for La Mesa City Council in November. He said he expects the proposal, which would limit the mayor and City Council members to three consecutive terms, will pass. Term Limit proposals have met with pretty consistent success when they get to the referendum stage.

But Baber said the group won't be taking anything for granted and plans an aggressive campaign. It's supporters have signs hanging in business windows scattered through the city already.

La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, who opposes the Term Limit effort when its supporters sought council approval, said he remains opposed to the proposition.

"La Mesa has had term limits for 100 years,'' he said Thursday morning. "They are called elections."

Madrid said this was just another attempt to take authority away from the voters and limit their choices.

Madrid has served in elected office for more than four decades and was often used as a poster-boy for the need for limits by the workers gathering signatures to force the referendum. However, the limits are not likely to apply to Madrid because they would not be retroactive. The mayor would still have 12 more years to serve if re-elected before any term limit would affect him. By then, Madrid would be more than 90 years old.

Madrid, however, has said his current re-election effort in November will be his last run for the mayor's job he's held for more than two decades.

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Tags: Art Madrid, Bill Baber, City of La Mesa, Government, La Mesa, La Mesa City Clerk, La Mesa City Council, La Mesa Mayor, La Mesa Mayor Art Madrid, La Mesa Today, More…La Mesa newspaper, La Mesa-Spring Valley School Board, Term Limits

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Comment by Mark Cavanaugh on May 16, 2014 at 1:40pm

The same old mantra of "Elections are term limits" is getting tiring.  The 7% approval rating of Congress many of whom have been caught kiting checks, caught drunk driving, having affairs etc that keeps getting re-elected is proof enough the majority of the electorate vote on name recognition and not performance.  The fact no incumbent has lost an election in La Mesa since 1992 is also proof enough.  The fact Mayor Madrid found on the sidewalk drunk in his own puke and gets re-elected or a mayor caught doing crack cocaine (Marion Berry) getting re-elected is also proof the majority of the voting public is not paying attention.  So no, elections are not term limits.  They are an opportunity for those in power to remain in power and become corrupt and become beholden to special interests knowing it is nearly impossible to get voted out.  Madrid like all other politicians know this which is why they all oppose it.  There are very few John Adams and Thomas Jeffersons out there who we would want to remain in office but even they would say  three consecutive terms should be enough to accomplish some good and then go back home to live with the common folk again to keep your perspective outside the ruling elite.

Congrats to all those who spearheaded this effort and sacrificed their own time and money to do something for the people.  Now, we as a democratic society have the ability to decide whether "WE" not the politicians want term limits and that is all this group was asking for was the chance to vote on it.  Why Mayor Madrid has a problem with people having a chance to vote on something says all you need to know about him.  He is afraid it will pass.  If he really felt elections are term limits, he would not oppose it on the ballot since he feels that strongly people will reject the idea of term limits and they all feel as he does that "Elections are Term Limits".  My guess is this will pass with an overwhelming majority once again proving Madrid is on the wrong side of right.

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