“A vote is too precious to limit.” – No Term Limits in La Mesa slogan
East County News Service
August 11, 2014 (La Mesa)--With the slogan “A vote is too precious to limit,” a group of La Mesa residents has joined together to form No Term Limits in La Mesa, to oppose a term limits initiative in the city of La Mesa that will be on ballots this November. The group asks the public’s help to spread the word through a people-powered grass roots campaign using word of mouth, a website (www.NoTermLimitsInLaMesa.com ), social media and downloadable graphics to print your own flyers, car signs, posters and T-shirts.
The group objects to term limits on principle, Kristin Kjaero explained, saying “The Founding Fathers didn’t give us term limits, they gave us the Bill of Rights which guarantees our right to free expression. The most fundamental form of that expression is our vote, which allows us to put teeth behind our opinions.”
A third generation La Mesan, Dexter Levy, reflected on the City’s more than 100 years as a successfully run city, noting that the proposition would allow candidates to run again after sitting out one term.
“The only thing this proposition would limit is our freedom to choose. It doesn’t give voters anything we don’t already have; we can vote people out at any time,” Levy said.
The group emphasized the value of experience. “Experience matters. It takes time to master any job and build relationships. If term limits are such a great idea, why don't companies fire their most experienced employees after 12 years?” Bob Duggan asked.
Those in favor of the La Mesa term limits effort claim term limits help reduce the power of the incumbency and give challengers a greater chance at winning office. The pro-term limits campaign’s most ardent proponents are Craig Maxwell, who ran unsuccessfully for mayor in the past, and La Mesa's newest City Council member, Kristine Alessio, who has provided the major financial backing behind the yes-on-term term limits effort.
La Mesa has a tradition of longevity among its office holders. The Mayor has served for over 20 years and the City also has several Councilmembers who have served the city for numerous terms. In recent years, La Mesa provides numerous opportunities for its citizenry to meet candidates in person through multiple public candidate forums. La Mesa, which recently celebrated its centennial, still has a small town feeling; at just nine square miles, residents are still apt to meet candidates walking door-to-door and share their views. The city has largely (though not entirely) avoided many problems plaguing urban areas and has been often been likened to the friendly yet fictitious town of Mayberry.
Although not an official part of the No Term Limits in La Mesa effort, NBA superstar and La Mesa hometown hero Bill Walton also recently voiced opposition to term limits. During an event celebrating the opening of a new Boys and Girls Club center in La Mesa and those who backed the project, Walton praised the efforts and accomplishments of La Mesa’s long-serving Mayor Art Madrid, adding, “Good thing we don’t have term limits in La Mesa.”
Both sides in the term limits debate locally have insisted that the initiative is not about any individual politician, however, but about the democratic principals involved.
For more information or to get involved in No Term Limits in La Mesa, you can visit www.NoTermLimitsInLaMesa.com , like No Term Limits in La Mesa on Facebook, and follow NoTermLimitsLM on Twitter.