Throughout the city, citizens have been collecting signatures.
The most visible member of those term-limit push has been Zack Maxwell, publisher of the Arlington Voice, who says they are close to reaching their goal of 11,000 signatures. They plan to deliver the petition to the City Secretary on July 6.
"At least 12 major cities in North Texas already have term limits in their city charters," Maxwell said via email. "Voters deserve an opportunity to have term limits in Arlington too."
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Star-Telegram
To create term limits, Arlington voters would need to approve an amendment to the City Charter, said City spokeswoman Susan Schrock.
"To place a proposed City Charter amendment on the Nov. 6, 2018, ballot, petition organizers would need to submit the signatures of either 20,000 registered Arlington voters or the signatures of 5 percent of registered Arlington voters – whichever number is lower – by July 9, 2018," Schrock said.
Then the Tarrant County Elections Office "would verify the signatures on petitions submitted to the City. If the threshold is met, the Arlington City Council would vote in August to place a proposed City Charter amendment regarding council member term limits on the November ballot," Schrock said.
Schrock said she did not have an exact number for 5 percent of the registered Arlington voters but said it would be around 10,000 voters.
The petition organizers will have a press conference and a rally on July 4 in the plaza between City Hall and the new downtown library..
The proposal would limit City Council members to three two-year terms. The mayor would also be limited to three two-year terms, meaning the most anyone could serve would be 12 years as both a council member and mayor.
Though Maxwell has been critical of the City Council in Facebook posts, he said "the campaign is not about attacking any one council member."
In the May 5 election, two incumbents Sheri Capehart and Victoria Farrar-Myers were unopposed. Term limits would change the dynamic, Maxwell said.
"Open races invite quality candidates to run who otherwise would never consider it if an incumbent is on the ballot," Maxwell said.
Arlington Mayor Jeff Williams said he is prepared to deal with a term-limits amendment if there are enough signatures to call a November election.
But he called it "a distraction" from his efforts to attract more businesses and jobs to Arlington.
Companies are looking for stability in city government when they're looking to relocate, Williams said.
He noted that the Dallas Business Journal praised Arlington's ability to attract jobs.
The publication named Texas Live!, the entertainment complex being built next to Globe Life Field, as the best "Deal of the Year." The publication also honored the Arlington Automotive Logistics Center, which will house parts suppliers for the General Motors Arlington Assembly Plant, as the best industrial deal.
If the petition makes it to the Nov. 6 ballot, it will likely be joined by a bond election. The City Council is expected to call for a bond election in August.