Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Council Puts Term Limit Decision on Hold; It Re-Voted to Spend $320,000 from Drainage Fund to Stop Fire Chief Demotions

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Council Puts Term Limit Decision on Hold; It Re-Voted to Spend $320,000 from Drainage Fund to Stop Fire Chief Demotions

Article excerpt

Byline: Christopher Hong

An effort to let voters decide whether to increase term limits for local officials was put on hold indefinitely Tuesday by the Jacksonville City Council.

The council also re-voted on and unanimously approved a decision it made months ago that was the center of a lawsuit alleging several council members violated Florida's Government-in-the-Sunshine Law.

The term limit plan's sponsor, Councilman Matt Schellenberg, called for his colleagues to withdraw the legislation. He said city officials should be prepared to focus all of their energy on convincing voters to pass the half-cent sales tax proposed by Mayor Lenny Curry to pay off the city's pension debt. That measure could be on the ballot later this year.

While voters overwhelmingly approved limiting local officials' time to two four-year terms in a 1991 election, some council members have recently said they believe that limit has prematurely forced good and experienced leaders out of office. Schellenberg's plan would have asked voters to approve a three-term limit to council members, the mayor, sheriff and other constitutional officers.

"Although I think this is important, it's not as important as extending a half-cent sales tax," Schellenberg said. "Right now, this is not the time or place to put this [term limits] on the referendum."

The council unanimously voted to withdraw the term-limit referendum. By doing so, Schellenberg can re-introduce his plan at a later date. He said he intends to do that but didn't say when.

Curry has asked the Florida Legislature to allow the city to ask voters to approve a half-cent sales tax to pay off the pension debt. If that request is approved, the vote could be held in August or November.

FIRE CHIEFS

In other business, the council re-voted on and approved a decision to spend $320,000 from the city's drainage system to prevent 17 recently promoted fire chiefs from being demoted. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.