GRAPEVINE -- Voters will get an opportunity to decide if the mayor and City Council members should be limited in the number of consecutive terms they can serve.A petition drive championed by Democrats and the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party has the required number of signatures to call for an amendment on the May 11 ballot, according to the Tarrant County Elections office.The Grapevine City Council will accept the results of a petition drive at its meeting tonight at 7:30 p.m. at Grapevine City Hall, 200 S. Main St.With more than 1,400 valid signatures, the petition orders the City Council to call a special election.The council has until Feb. 5 to call the election.The current city charter has no term limits. Grapevine residents from both sides of the political spectrum spent months going door-to-door gathering signatures in an effort to have term limits decided in an election.Mayor William D. Tate has served as Grapevine's mayor since 1973, with the exception of a three-year stint from 1985 to 1988. Councilwoman Sharron Spencer and Mayor Pro Tem C. Shane Wilbanks have both served since 1985 and ran uncontested in May. Two other council members -- Darlene Freed and Roy Stewart -- were elected in the mid-1990s.Kathleen Thompson, an active Democrat, and other citizens started Better Grapevine to gather signatures for the petition."I support term limits in Grapevine, Austin and [Washington] D.C," Thompson said. "I think that it's important to serve your community, but a near decade in office in city council is plenty of time to make your mark on the city. That's longer than the president gets."Thompson ran unsuccessfully against Stewart in 2011 and faced harsh opposition from the Northeast Tarrant Tea Party because of her politics.But when it comes to term limits, Julie McCarty, founder and president of the NETP, found common ground with Thompson."We're putting our community before partisanship," Thompson said.McCarty agreed."Democrats and conservatives alike, we see the need for term limits. It's not because we don't like Tate, it's not because we don't like the other council members. We just want new voices on the council," McCarty said.Reached by phone Monday, Stewart said all the names on the petition were verified, but he didn't want to comment on the issue of term limits.Other council members did not return phone calls or declined to comment when reached Monday.Tate, who was out of town Monday and could not be reached, has said that Grapevine is a unique city that is "well-run, a model. ... Many aspects of the city are held in high esteem in Texas."What is sinister about longevity?" he told the Star-Telegram in December, when the petition drive began. "What is wrong about experience? ... I feel like I am at the top of my game."Petition organizers started collecting signatures in November hoping to get an amendment on the ballot Nov. 6, but organizers missed an August deadline to get the issue on the November ballot.Organizers needed 1,172 signatures, at least 5 percent of the city's active registered voters, to get the question on the ballot.On Sept. 17, 1,772 signatures were turned in, though 192 were marked out. On Oct. 1, 1,499 were validated, said Jodi Brown, Grapevine city secretary.If approved by voters, current incumbents could serve three more terms before leaving office.They also could take a year off and run again for any elected position.