Council Discusses Term Limit Referendum
The council revisited the issue of adding a referendum to November's ballot that would impose term limits on the city's elected officials.
Bowie City Council members will continue to govern without term limits for the foreseeable future after the council declined Monday to add a referendum on the issue to the November ballot.
The council had discussed the possibility of term limits briefly on Feb. 19, but Councilmember Todd Turner (at large) missed the conversation and requested members revisit the matter during Monday's meeting.
Turner said he supported including such a referendum on the ballot in conjunction with a second referendum that would allow voters to extend each term of office from two years to four.
The council voted in February to put the latter question on the ballot.
“I would only ask you that despite your personal opinions on term limits that this is a valuable question that we can put to citizens,” Turner said.
Bowie resident John Henry spoke on in opposition to term limits and to extending the terms of council members.
“We have been very comfortable with electing you every two years, and to go to a longer term disenfranchises the voter,” Henry said.
“As far as term limitation goes, I don’t think we need that either,” Henry said, adding that if voters were unhappy with their council representation they would vote them out of office.
Mayor G. Frederick Robinson, who is the council’s senior most member and has served on the council in some capacity for nearly 21 years, was also opposed to term limits.
“Every two years there’s the opportunity to limit someone’s term,” Robinson said, referring to the city’s biennial elections.
Councilmember Dennis Brady (at large), echoed Robinson’s sentiment, adding that he thought term limits were contradictory.
“In two weeks I will have been on this council 19 years. I have never heard a single voter complain to me about a need for term limits,” Brady said.
Turner thanked his colleagues for the discussion, and the council did not vote on the term limit issue during Monday's meeting.
Are you in favor of or opposed to term limits for the Bowie city council? Tell Patch in the comments.