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April 3, 2009 - 7:34am

Today's Today's Poll: Should county legislators serve four-year terms and have election terms staggered?

posted by Howard B. Owens in polls.

 

For Background on this poll, see yesterday's story by Paul Mrozek. A Darian Town Council member raised the issue at the Ways and Means Committee meeting on Monday.

"It's kind of ridiculous to have all nine legislators up for election at the same time," said Steve Ferry, a member of the Darien Town Board. He said four-year terms would provide more consistency for the Legislature and would also attract more candidates for the nine seats.

"When you tell people (potential candidates) it's a two-year term they kind of walk the other way," Ferry said.

UPDATE (2:55 p.m.): This notice was just sent to County Legislators.

Chair Hancock has requested your attendance at a Committee of the Whole Meeting Wednesday, April 8th at 6:30 PM for the purpose of discussing a request by Steve Ferry to bring to consideration the extension of Legislature Terms to four years and staggering those terms.  In addition, Mr. Ferry has requested a reconsideration of Legislature Rule 22 in regards to addressing the Legislature.

Dave Olsen
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All political positions should have term limits
Howard B. Owens
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To me, term limits are a Band Aid approach, especially when talking about something like the state legislature. Unless and until the power structure of the two-party system is broken down, you're just swapping one power broker for another with term limits. Different names, different faces, same results. At the county level, it's probably not necessary because of the low-pay, lack of real power that goes with the positions (county legislators are important and useful, of course, but because of nature of things, it's hard to really accumulate much power at that level these days).
Daniel Jones
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This is a reasonable idea, I'm all for it.
Dave Olsen
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I take your point, Howard, about swapping one power broker for another, but anything that interrupts their comfort level with always having the power is a good start. Better ballot access for candidates who are not Dem or Rep would be a big help especially at the state and National levels. As for the town and county, I think term limits are even more necessary to keep fresh ideas in the mix. However, I started out off the point of the original post which is to move from a 2 year limit with everyone coming and going at the same time to a 4 year staggered. The latter does make a lot more sense.

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