Monday, August 9, 2010

Campaign update #11


Today is the day that reportedly will decide whether or not the commission will cave in and put a anti-term limits measure on the ballot even though the petition drive to do so has failed to collect the requisite signatures. A good turnout by the public today could end the political shenanigans that have threatened both WPB's popular 8-year term limit and the integrity of the citizen initiative process.

Let's show up just before 4 p.m. today at City Center, 401 Clematis Street, and tell the commissioners the rules should not be bent in favor of a single politician. If the mayor can collect the signatures, she can have her vote. If not, not. The commission would never waive the signature requirement if the petition drive's aim was to place a pro-term limits measure on the ballot!

Bumper sticker-sized signs will be distributed that say "Keep 8-year term limits, vote NO!"

Let's be polite and firm but avoid personal attacks. This is not about Mayor Frankel, but about our form of government and rules that protect the citizenry, foster competitive elections, ensure rotation in office, encourage greater public participation and improve the incentives faced by our officials. We should respect the fact that many like and many dislike the current mayor, but all of us feel she and all future mayors should abide by the rules.

For more background on WPB term limits, go here.

After-party at O'Shea's Irish Pub, 531 Clematis Street. See you there!


In Monday's editorial, Joel Engelhardt wrote a tough editorial on behalf of the editorial board under the headline "Mayor Frankel deserves no favors" and this complementary pull-out quote, "Elections change wouldn't benefit West Palm Beach, it would benefit her."

In it, they bring up one key element that term limits address: corruption. We've dealt with this in a general way in these posts and media appearances. but the Post really lays it on the table today:

"Short of extortion, what can a term-limited mayor offer? Any commissioner voting to put this on the ballot would need to address this issue head-on and be prepared to back his or her words in front of a grand jury."

The fact is that term-limited mayors -- and other politicians -- have less to offer, less power to reward and punish. Here in corruption county in a city with a strong mayor form of government, we need genuine -- that is, eight-year -- term limits and cannot allow a powerful politician to circumvent the rules to further her career. The Post hit the target with this one.