Monday, August 23, 2010

Campaign update #15


In her quest to ditch West Palm Beach's 8-year term limit and run again, Mayor Lois Frankel has two strikes against her: First, public opposition blocked her effort to stack the Charter Review board and also her effort to have the city commission put her anti-term limits effort on the ballot even though her petition drive failed to collect the requisite signatures. She has one last chance, to finish collecting the signatures and sue the city to force a $100,000 special election before the regularly scheduled March mayoral election.

It is toward this end that she is trying to marginalize the broad public support for the 8-year limit by calling her opponents rude names ("idiotic," "inarticulate," "extreme," etc.) based on the public comments at the Aug. 9 city commission meeting. However, there's a problem. The meeting was attended by many people who are eyewitnesses to the fact that most speakers were calm and civil.

In this undated photo, rude and inarticulate idiots line up to vote.

John Igoe, a board member of the Keep West Palm Beach Term Limits Committee, had an excellent letter in Sunday's Palm Beach Post that is worth quoting in full:

"I was among several residents who spoke out in favor of keeping term limits in West Palm Beach. As an educated liberal independent, I was offended by Mayor Lois Frankel's characterization of us as 'inarticulate right-wing tea party members.'

"I voted for Mayor Frankel and publicly stated that she has done a lot of good things for the city. But the committee pushing to get a proposal to repeal voter-adopted term limits on the ballot on behalf of the mayor has fallen far short, and now raises the specter of a $100,000 special election. The committee plans to continue to collect signatures and to orchestrate the special election.

"Since the committee failed to obtain sufficient signatures by Friday, meaning that the proposal to repeal term limits won't be on the ballot for the general election, it should concede defeat and wait until the next general election. Forcing a special election at taxpayer expense would be wrong. The mayor's attempts to circumvent the process for advancing a public referendum make the case for maintaining term limits even stronger."


The Palm Beach Post also testified to this fact in an editorial last week:

"The woman who won't take no for an answer is mischaracterizing her opposition. There's a wide range of opposition to a third term for this mayor and an unnecessary expansion of mayoral power. Her petition drive is showing little traction. It has not gathered even half of the 5,800 signatures needed to put a term-limit extension on the ballot. Blaming 'some extreme right-wing group' is the mayor's attempt to ignore reality."

The Post goes further:

"Mayor Frankel has become more divisive the longer she has been in office. No matter how much she may love the job and the power that goes with it, she is placing her own interest above the city's interest. That must stop. Mayor Frankel needs to give other candidates a chance to launch their campaigns. She needs to help the city avoid yet another legal battle over an election. She needs to acknowledge political reality."

For the full story, go here.