Ideal Office Terms for Local Government Officials

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This topic contains 4 replies, has 4 voices, and was last updated by  Pam Broviak 8 years, 7 months ago.

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  • #174825

    Gabe Gabrielsen

    What is the “ideal” length for a “term” in office for a ‘Local Government Official’ {i.e. Mayor, City Council, Village Board, County Board, School Board}?

    Some states have a 2 year term requirement for holding a local office while others have 4 year term of office. Should there be six year term limit for local office holders?

    Do longer term limits provide better local governance because they promote more continuity on a local government body?


    Do shorter term limits help attract better candidates for local offices because of the minimal commitment required?

  • #174833

    Pam Broviak

    Local government has so many regulations along with just the business aspect of government that I can’t imagine anyone could really pick it all up in under two years. Four years I suppose is good because sometimes people vote for someone only because they are popular. This then can sometimes result in an elected official who everyone likes, but who makes very poor decisions. The four years helps to somewhat minimize the damage that they can do and gives people a chance to replace them. And I don’t really like the idea of term limits because sometimes you get elected officials who do an excellent job. It would be a huge loss to the city to lose their insight and skills just because of an arbitrary time limit.

    I think more important than term limits is for people to be better informed of the job their elected officials are doing. And they need to understand that just because they think someone is a nice guy or because a candidate wanted to be mayor since they were a young child is not a good enough reason to hand over management of a multi-million dollar operation. That’s not how businesses hire CEOs, and it shouldn’t be how voters elect people to run their cities. And it wouldn’t hurt to require some continuing education for elected officials.

  • #174831

    Gabe Gabrielsen

    The wording of my discussion may be confusing and if it is I am sorry.

    I am not referring to term limits – I am asking the length of term in office for locally elected public officials.

    For example, if someone runs for the township or village board or for the office of Sheriff – should their term in office for that position be two years, four years, six years etc.

    I don’t care if they want to run for re-election after their initial term in office is up; what I want to know is how long should a term in office for a LOCAL – not a Federal or State – elected official be?

    Again sorry if my initial wording was confusing.

    Just remember lenght of term in office —– NOT term limits.

  • #174829

    Paul Wolf

    I like 4 year terms for local officials as 2 years means that one is in constant campaign mode. I served as Chief of Staff to the Buffalo Common Council for 4 years which coincided with the 4 year term for City Councilmembers. The first three years were pleasant as people focused on governing. The last year being an election year was very different. Tensions rose as politics and worrying about re-election became the main focus.

  • #174827

    Steve Ressler

    +1 for 4 years for reasons said (2 feels already in a cycle). 6 feels long & it’s a long commitment for a lot of folks (imagining a local successful businessperson for example)

    Staggering terms can be good too so not everyone up for re-election at same time

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