Supporters of a recent city charter amendment restricting City Council tenures to two four-year terms say they will not accept city money to test the measure in court.
The authors of the amendment, which goes into effect in April, said Wednesday they had decided to refuse the $10,000 that the City Council wants to give them to cover the legal expenses of a court case.
The council last week concluded the best way to settle a continuing debate over the amendment’s bearing on council incumbents was to pay the amendment’s supporters to launch a lawsuit against the city. City Atty. Kenneth Brown has said the amendment’s language is too vague to preclude two-term incumbents from running again, but supporters insist that the charter revisions clearly bar current council members from seeking reelection once they’ve finished two consecutive terms.
The community activists who wrote the amendment, which was approved in a public vote in late 1986, called the council’s offer a “self-serving gesture” and a “sham.” They charge that the incumbents are improperly furthering their own interests by using city money to obtain a court ruling on the amendment.