Hurray for John Smelser!
After five months of unfailing footwork, in late February, the 67-year-old celebrated his 5,500th signature for a petition to limit the terms of council members in Menifee, California. That’s over 2,000 more than the 3,382 he needed to qualify the measure for the ballot. But he didn’t rest on his laurels. He kept working right up until the March 12 deadline, submitting nearly 6,000 signatures.
Smelser believes every elected official’s tenure in office should be limited. If his term limit measure passes in November, Menifee council members would be able to serve only two four-year terms consecutively. They would be able to run for office again after two years out of office. Smelser believes it’ll pass with an 80 percent majority.
He may be right. He’s certainly taken the pulse of the town on this issue.
Incumbent Menifee Mayor Wallace Edgerton insists that regular elections are all you need to bring new blood into government. But he admits that Smelser has a point: Two terms should be enough to achieve what you ran for office to achieve.
Smelser’s one-man show is obviously not a feat you could replicate in Los Angeles or New York City. But it’s still pretty impressive. It shows not only the dedication and conviction of Mr. Smelser, but also the enthusiasm for term limits of so many voters.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.