Thursday, August 5, 2010

West Palm Beach case instructive for local term limits defenders everywhere

The continuing saga in West Palm Beach, Fla., where a two-term incumbent mayor is trying to weaken the existing voter-approved term limit so she can run again, is one that is again playing out in cities and even state legislatures across the country. And the result is nearly always the same: the people win.

But it does require some resistance. It may be instructive to look at how citizens in this South Florida city are defending their popular term limit against the political ambitions of their mayor and certain city commissioners. Their blog, updated daily, tells the story.

The end result is a near foregone conclusion -- 2009 polling shows some 76% of Floridians in the Southeast region of the state oppose replacing a 8-year term limit with a 12-year one -- as long as a few people, like West Palm Beach businessman Rick Shepherd shown here, stand up and rally their neighbors to act.