What’s your real goal here?

Seems clear to us that the conservative council has ulterior motives when it comes to term limits

Dear Chico City Councilmembers Mark Sorensen, Andrew Coolidge, Reanette Fillmer and Sean Morgan: OK, you’ve proposed a solution. Now, please tell us: What’s the problem?

We’re speaking of the measure you conservatives recently voted to place on the November ballot that would limit council members to three terms.

So far, all you’ve been able to say in its favor is that it would bring “fresh blood” to the council. But you’ve provided no evidence that “fresh blood” is needed or that it would do any good. Are we to take it on faith that by forbidding experienced council members from running for re-election we will improve the quality of local government?

What if the proposed term limit had been in place when the late Ted Meriam, perhaps the most respected civic leader in the city’s history, was on the council? He served five terms, all of them valuable because of his wisdom and deep institutional knowledge.

Term limits come with a cost. They forbid those who have served their allowed terms from continuing to serve, even if voters want them to do so. And they limit voters’ choices on Election Day. They are fundamentally anti-democratic.

CN&R reporters have been watching the City Council for 40 years. We’ve seen how difficult it is for newly elected council members to be effective. It can take them a year or more to get up to speed. It would be foolish to then limit their ability to put their experience to continued good use if voters so desire.

So what’s the problem? More to the point, what’s your real goal here? Does the ballot measure have anything to do with the fact that the four council members who in recent years have served more than two terms—Dave Guzzetti, Karl Ory, Ann Schwab and Scott Gruendl—are all lefties? Just wondering …