A Jacksonville City Council member wants to extend the term limits for elected officials.
Right now, those people in power can only serve two four-year terms.
City Councilman Matt Schellenberg’s bill could allow a third term for the following positions: City Council member, sheriff, supervisor of elections, property appraiser, tax collector, clerk of courts and school board member.
Schellenberg's reasoning is council members can’t get enough done in eight years. He said, in that amount of time, they're still learning the ropes in a complex job.
“It's not that you don't learn along the way, it’s institutional knowledge that you bring after six, seven, eight years,” Schellenberg said.
Schellenberg said if the bill passes the City Council and is signed by Mayor Lenny Curry, it would be up to voters in a referendum in August 2018.
The voters with whom Action News Jax spoke weren’t sold.
“That's garbage,” said Tony Walker. “I’d probably vote against that, for sure.”
Daniel Golan agreed.
“I believe in term limits, and I believe they should just keep them as tight as possible,” Golan said.
Schellenberg is one of eight council members in their second term, meaning their time on the council is over if this bill fails.
Dr. Michael Binder, a political science associate professor at the University of North Florida, thinks that will be the case.
“Historically, across the country, whenever people put up term limits, voters support them, and whenever people try to repeal term limits, voters oppose them wildly,” Binder said.
Action News Jax asked Schellenberg what he would say to critics who may consider this an example of the people in power trying to stay in power.
“I think they're mistaken,” Schellenberg said.
He added that even if the bill passes, he likely wouldn’t run for a third term.
Voters will have a chance to weigh in on the bill on July 25.
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