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TUSTIN : Council Limits Terms on 2 Commissions

The City Council voted unanimously this week to impose term limits on members of the Planning Commission and the Parks and Recreation Commission.

The measure, which could receive final approval as early as Aug. 15, would limit commissioners to no more than three consecutive terms. Each term lasts two years.

Commissioners, who advise council members on local matters, are appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the City Council.

Councilman Jim Potts, who introduced the measure, said that an influx of new commissioners results in fresh perspectives.

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“My idea is that when you get new people in, you get new ideas,” he said. “There is a burnout factor for being on a committee or a council.”

Last month, Potts informally called for term limits when he led an unsuccessful effort to remove Planning Commissioner Al Baker from his post. Baker has served on the advisory panel for the past nine years and has one additional year remaining in his term.

Joining Potts in attempting to remove Baker was Councilman Michael J. Doyle. However, they were outvoted 3 to 2. Mayor Thomas R. Saltarelli, Councilman Jeffery M. Thomas and Councilwoman Tracy Worley all argued that it was unfair to remove Baker during the middle of a term.

The commissioners are not the only city officials who may be subject to term limits. When voters go to the polls in November, they will decide if term limits should be imposed on council members. A council term lasts four years.

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One ballot measure, backed by Potts and Doyle, would prohibit council members from serving more than two consecutive terms. A competing measure, favored by Saltarelli and Thomas, would limit council members to three consecutive terms.

Worley voted to place both of the council-initiated measures on the Nov. 8 ballot.


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