Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Are Palm Beach County voter-approved term limits in danger?

As detailed in the previous post, the politicians in Broward won round one against the voter approved county commission term limits law in that county. Broward is appealing the circuit court decision. The case may ultimately go to the Florida Supreme Court.
What does the Broward case mean to Palm Beach County, where 70 percent of voters here approved 8-year county commission term limits in 2002?

  • If Broward County wins the appeal, nothing will happen in Palm Beach. The position of the voter-approved Palm Beach County law will be strengthened.

  • If the Broward County loses its appeal, the county will ask for a Supreme Court review. The case at the Supreme Court level is very strong and ultimate victory likely.

  • However, in the meantime the appellate decision could be used as a basis for a suit by county commissioners and local special interests against Palm Beach County voters to overthrow the law.

    • You can bet that the local pols will not wait for the Supreme Court to act. If what is happening in Broward is any clue, county commissioners will find a patsy to file a suit against the voters immediately and then announce their re-election campaigns. They, of course, will pretend they are not involved in the suit.

      County Commissioner Karen Marcus -- a 26-year veteran who hasn't faced a general election challenger in nearly 20 years -- has already said she plans on running again.

      Voters continue to support term limits in overwhelming numbers. We should ask Karen Marcus and Burt Aaronsen, the two commissioners affected by the law in 2012, to respect the will of the voters. They should leave our term limits law alone and not run again without sitting out a term as the law provides. Please also answer the poll question at the top right of this page. Let them know how we feel.

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