Reeve: San Juan Capistrano Should Have Term Limits

His proposal would have City Council members serving no more than two consecutive terms.

San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Derek Reeve. Photo courtesy of Derek Reeve.
San Juan Capistrano City Councilman Derek Reeve. Photo courtesy of Derek Reeve.

San Juan Capistrano City Council members should be subject to term limits, says Councilman Derek Reeve.

He’s proposing his fellow councilmen consider adopting term limits at their next meeting.

"Interestingly about 10 years ago I was opposed to term limits. Over the years however, I have experienced the 'institutionalization' of city councilmembers to county-wide politics," Reeve said "Big special interest money floods into the campaign coffers of incumbents along with a tangled web of competing loyalties.

"This advantage of incumbents over challengers reduces fair competition and leads eventually to a distance between the people and their public servants," Reeve said. "Loyalties should be entirely concentrated to the public servants constituents."

In his letter to council members, Reeve cites a term limits law from Laguna Niguel. It says:

[a] No person shall hold office as a member of the city council if such person has served on the city council for two consecutive terms, unless he or she, has subsequent to the completion of his or her last term, been out of office as a member of the city council for at least two years.

[b] If a person serves for at least two years of a term, that person for purposes of subsection (a) shall be considered to have served a full four-year term.

[c] The term limits established by this section shall be applicable to all terms of office for members of the city council commencing with the terms for members of the city council elected at the November 4, 2014, city general municipal election

The City Council meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall, 32400 Paseo Adelanto in San Juan Capistrano. 


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Tornado Johnson January 19, 2014 at 02:05 PM
Thank God!
Donna Fleming January 19, 2014 at 03:01 PM
Thank God again.
Christie January 19, 2014 at 11:48 PM
Wouldn't it be nice to have a limit to campaign spending and have public debates on the issues? Not treading upon free speech, perhaps a new format of could eliminate/reduce the campaign signage around town. Debates are an effective way of learning about candidates. It does not permit for attacks to go unaddressed due to lack of funding. It limits the effectiveness of special interests to influence perception. There is something refreshing about discussing ideas. It would keep the town free of promotional literature, and hopefully our mailboxes free of atrocious mailers. These debates could be held at City Hall and the video can be accessed from the privacy and comfort of one's home.
Shripathi Kamath January 20, 2014 at 12:26 AM
Christie January 19, 2014 at 11:48 PM Wouldn't it be nice to have a limit to campaign spending and have public debates on the issues? ___________________________________________________ No on the first, yes on the second. In a sense you are asking for limits of how much free speech one is allowed to indulge in, and simultaneously asking for more from both sides, but in a regulated fashion. Free speech is the best means we have to field competing ideas. Obviously the problem is that "free" does not equate to "true" in which case people will suffer for not taking the time to decipher one from the other. The only change I want to see with regards to campaign contributions is making the list of donors a matter of public record. In many cases this is already the norm. If Jill Politician gets a million bucks from a single donor who wants elements of Sharia Law introduced into public policy, great. Let us know the name of this donor, and we can decide whether we like that. If we do not decide wisely, well, we get the government we deserve. _________________________________________________ Besides, how would you monitor this campaign funding? Let's say you are a supporter of Mr. Reeve. If you are a rich person who loves his ideas, how can any legislation stop you from attacking his opponents through ad-buys or even supporting him directly, when you have 1A? Which government agency will monitor this, and how'll they be funded without seriously arbitrary or cumbersome regulations that everyone keep asking government to not impose? ___________________________________________________ "It limits the effectiveness of special interests to influence perception." ___________________________________________________ But what counts as a special interest? A developer wanting to build a high-rise next to a historical monument? Adult toy shops wanting to fill a market need in a city that has none? A group of retirees wanting no parking in their neighborhood for the nearby shopping center? In the end, it depends on whose ox is getting gored. But at the simplest level, they are all special interests. ___________________________________________________ I do support your idea of having lots of debates. The trouble is that unless more citizens participate and attend these, most candidates would not care to attend, or if they do, make any committal statements.
Christie January 20, 2014 at 04:07 PM
Shri, you made some very good points. It is disappointing that there is a low level of investigation which voters are willing to invest before making decisions which frequently have great impact. I prefer honest discussion of ideas and often we humans are not up to the task. It takes a special something to remove emotion from decision making. Thanks for taking time give your input.


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