Facts About Term Limits

FACT: Unlike many jurisdictions in California, Santa Monica imposes no limits whatsoever on how many terms Councilmembers can serve.

FACT: In 2013 Santa Monica City Council imposed a maximum of 3 terms on all members of Boards and Commissions, but none for themselves.

FACT: Incumbents seldom lose elections because of name recognition and the power of incumbency. Money flows to incumbents from city unions protecting their own status and special interests who have benefited from incumbent decisions.

FACT: Currently we have two councilmembers who have been in office for 5 terms and 6 terms (over 20 years). In the recent past, Bob Holbrook and Ken Genser were elected for 6 terms and Herb Katz for 5 terms.

FACT: The California Senate and Assembly have had lifetime term limits of 12 years since 1990.

FACT: Statewide elected officers have term limits (Governor, Lt. Governor. Treasurer, Attorney General, Controller, Secretary of state, Insurance Commissioner, and Superintendent of Public Instruction).

FACT: Cities across the state and throughout Los Angeles County have imposed term limits on their elected officials. For example, City of Los Angles, County Board of Supervisors, West Hollywood, Culver City, Anaheim, Redondo Beach, Torrance and Santa Barbara have all voted for term limits on city council members.

FACT: Term limits encourage potential candidates to run for office.

FACT: Term limits give voters a real chance for change and bring in fresh ideas and perspectives.


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