WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The Wichita City Council postponed the discussion about extending term limits at Tuesday’s meeting.
Wichita City Council members will look at potentially adding a third term for council members on Tuesday.
In 1991, voters agreed to limit city council members to two terms.
Some this week say it’s a good idea while others are not sold.
“I’m still considering my vote on this if it comes to a vote,” said council member James Clendenin.
Another term would mean another four years.
Councilmember Jeff Blubaugh would be off the council in 2024 based on term limits. Blubaugh says his vote is not set in stone, but he says he sees merit in at least one more term.
“We have an experienced council right now, and if voters do not like what you are doing, they will vote you out,” said Blubaugh. “You’re spending three or four years figuring what the needs are, what the job requires. And then when you’re going in there trying to do things for your district, for the city, you want to see it to fruition. And so it may take five or six years to do that.”
KSN political analyst Jeff Jarman says if the council will consider a vote on the measure now would be a “fairly” politically correct time to look at extending term limits.
“Wichita and Hutchinson are the only two larger cities in Kansas to even have term limits for council members,” said Jarman. “Right after an election when most of the members are not facing a term limit, this is the best time for the council to consider a change because it’s not being driven by self-interest but probably being driven by what’s best for local government.”
The move in 1991, that was voted in by the public, dictates mayor and city council should be limited to two consecutive terms. Tuesday, the council will consider a charter ordinance that would allow a council vote.
“We have a mayor that was voted out after one term,” said Blubaugh. “If the voters don’t like the job you are doing for the city and they don’t like the way you are doing, they vote you out. Leave it to the power of the voters.”
Clendenin says if a charter ordinance comes up, he is still not set on how he will vote.
“I still have some homework to do on this one,” said Clendenin.
“They are merits to both sides of this.”
Council is scheduled to consider a proposed charter ordinance for voting on term limits at the Tuesday city council meeting.
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