Grapevine term limits mean limited voter options

Posted Friday, Apr. 26, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Grapevine voters can cast their ballots in the May 11 election for or against term limits for their mayor and City Council members. Early voting starts Monday.

Grapevine voters have been holding term-limit elections for decades, every time there's been an election for the mayor or council.

It has not been difficult. Every time a council member is up for election, anyone who believes that member has reached their term limit can vote for somebody else. They can even put their own name on the ballot and convince enough other people to vote for them. That's the way democracy works.

Yes, the Grapevine council has members who have served a very long time. Bill Tate has been mayor practically since horse-and-buggy days, and he has every reason to be proud.

There are only two ways elected officials can stay in office: Either nobody runs against them or the majority of voters decide to keep them in office instead of electing someone else on the ballot.

Last year, enough Grapevine voters signed petitions to call this election limiting the number of times they and other Grapevine voters can decide to return the mayor or a council member to office. The limit will be three consecutive, full three-year terms.

Some people would call that cutting off your nose to spite your face. Why would voters decide now to limit their own choices in future elections?

And just what is it that the people who favor limiting those choices would have Grapevine do differently from what this council has done?

Oh, no, this is not about Bill Tate or any of the current council members, some of the term limiters say. It's about new ideas and new leadership at City Hall, letting other people have a say.

Don't believe it. The only reason to have this election is that someone wants Grapevine to be different. And Grapevine has done amazingly well at providing amenities for its residents while keeping taxes low.

Grapevine voters should not limit their options in future elections.

The Star-Telegram Editorial Board recommends against term limits in Grapevine.

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