Thursday, July 7, 2011

Commissioner Aaronson joins Marcus in defiance of voters' term limit

Burt Aaronson told the Palm Beach Post he will 'definitely' run for his sixth term as a county commissioner if the current effort to overturn Palm Beach County's voter-approved 8-year term limits law is successful.

In doing so, the 83-year-old commissioner would be directly defying the will of the voters expressed in the overwhelming 2002 approval of the citizen-led term limits initiative at the ballot box and current expression of local support of term limits in polls. The voters called for a two-term limit for commissioners.

Aaronson joins Karen Marcus -- who hasn't faced a general election challenger in 20 years -- in clinging to the position. Four other commissioners who would otherwise have been term limited by the new law have been indicted for corruption and had to leave office, three of them for prison.

Palm Beach County Elections Supervisor Susan Bucher said she would not accept paperwork from Marcus or Aaronson to run again in defiance of the law.

However, Marcus and Aaronson are pinning their hopes on a politician-led effort from Broward County that is making its way through the courts. In Broward County, where term limits passed with an astounding 80 percent of the vote, a friendly and politically active judge -- whose husband is the term-limited former mayor of Fort Lauderdale -- struck down Broward County commission term limits.

Broward is appealing to defend the people's law, but an adverse decision at the appellate level later this year could be used by Marcus and Aaronson for a basis for a legal challenge of the Palm Beach law. Broward is confident of success of their term limits law at the Supreme Court, but you can bet the politicians won't wait.

Be sure to answer the poll question at the top right of this page. The voters have made it clear as day they want term limits. Would you vote for a politician who so brazenly defies us?

(Pictured above, Karen Marcus and Burt Aaaronson in the commission chambers)

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