The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce and its board have unanimously approved the following position on the proposed mayoral term limits initiative for the City of Lincoln:
“This November, our community will be asked to vote on a ballot measure related to mayoral term limits which, without precedent, applies retroactively.
This ballot measure was brought forward by way of the petition process and, as such, did not receive the same public review and debate typical in the public process applied to most local policy proposals.
The issue of limiting terms of service of local elected officials, be it the mayor or any other local elected official, is a serious matter that should be thoughtfully and thoroughly debated.
“We oppose this ballot measure because it offends our sense of fair play. The retroactive feature simply set off our fairness meter. Lincoln citizens really need to give this serious consideration, especially since this would be placed in our Charter,” according to Lincoln Chamber of Commerce President Wendy Birdsall. “We felt it was our obligation to speak on this issue.”
While term limits have been imposed on state senators in Nebraska, the policy applied prospectively; whereas the mayoral term limits being considered in Lincoln would, without precedent, apply retroactively.
This is a major issue impacting the governance structure of our city and has received limited public review. The retroactive application of the proposal is an affront to democratic principles, and because this proposal will be placed within the city charter, the Lincoln Chamber stands in opposition to this ballot measure for mayoral term limits as written and urges voters to reject it."