Marietta Council committee rejects term limits
by Nikki Wiley
November 01, 2013 12:32 AM | 1957 views | 3 3 comments | 14 14 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA — Mayor Steve Tumlin’s proposal to place term limits on the mayor and City Council didn’t make it out of the committee chaired by veteran councilman Philip Goldstein this week.

Goldstein, who has served on the council since 1980, chairs the city’s Judicial Legislative Committee, which includes members Jim King and Andy Morris.

During that committee meeting Wednesday, Morris recommended approving Tumlin’s term limit proposal, but couldn’t get a second vote from Goldstein or King.

“It’s hard to get it going when it fails in committee,” Tumlin said.

Yet all it takes to get a topic before the full council is for a council member or the mayor to make the request of city manager Bill Bruton, regardless of what happens in committee, city attorney Doug Haynie told the MDJ.

“Any member of City Council or the mayor can put something on the agenda to go to the full City Council — even if it had been voted down, or it didn’t get a second, or never went anywhere — any of the eight of them can place it back on the agenda in two weeks,” Haynie said.

Tumlin said he plans to bring the issue back up and “do a better job of selling it” but doesn’t know when that will be.

Some council members who served for four or six terms did good things for the city, Tumlin said, but having term limits would give more opportunity to more people.

“There’s been some awful good incumbents throughout the years,” Tumlin said.

Still, Tumlin maintains elections favor incumbents.

Having municipal term limits in Georgia is a rarity. Only a few cities, such as Atlanta, Savannah and Brunswick, impose term limits on a mayor.

“The only one in Georgia is the governor and the only one in the federal government is the president, and it took 150 years for that to happen,” Tumlin said. “The original Constitution did not have a two-term limit.”

Tumlin’s proposal would require the Cobb Legislative Delegation to amend the city’s charter in the 2014 General Assembly session.

Morris and his challenger in Tuesday’s election, Marshall Dye, both support term limits.

“I was 100 percent behind the mayor,” Morris said.

Morris also believes term limits give more residents an opportunity to become involved with their city.

“I personally just think that 12 years is long enough,” Morris said. “We have some people that have been on there 30 years.”

Tumlin and Morris say their proposal is not an effort to target anyone in particular.

“Somebody that serves that long is entrenched, you tend not to have competition, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s good, bad or different,” Tumlin said.

Goldstein doesn’t support term limits.

“You have term limits every four years,” Goldstein said.

Comments
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family limits
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November 01, 2013
How about we institute family limits before Goldstein Junior gets elected after Goldstein has a spat with one of his toadies?

Got a relative on council? Then you can't be on council!
rjsnh
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November 01, 2013
Why am I not surprised....there is no interest like self interest. And, the argument that "you have term limits every four years" is not true. You have ELECTIONS every four years, not term limits. The fact of the matter is that once someone is in office it is nearly impossible to win against incumbency. That is the VERY reason, the president is limited to two terms.
Just Wait
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November 01, 2013
And he I was thinking old Phil would be in favor of this. What was I thinking?
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