Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

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.

By: Redactor

11 Comments

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  3. Rich Waksman says:

    That is great news.

    It was duplicated in New York — TWICE, but the corrupt mayor and city council overrode it with an unconstitutional law and the Supreme Court would not hear it.

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  5. Werner says:

    Please, please, please stop chanting the term limits long enough to take a look at the places it’s been implemented. I live in 3 jurisdictions (city of San Diego, San Diego county and CA) where 2 have term limited legislators. The city is a basket case, the State in even worse shape (in case you hadn’t been paying attention). The only entity in solid fiscal shape is the county and the supervisors are NOT TERM LIMITED.

  6. Pat says:

    If the people really felt as much enthusiasm as the petition indicates, we wouldn’t have politicians hanging on to their jobs. The people would have voted them out long ago. If the people of Menifee really want change, they have the power to bring it about – with a vote. Nothing stops people from voting against incumbents every time they vote.

  7. Werner says:

    Pat – Absolutely right. The primary reason for term limits is to get rid of the OTHER guy’s rep.

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  11. David says:

    Let me get this straight. The current crew of pols in California are doing such a swell job screwing up the state that, per Werner and Pat, they should be kept on in perpetuity? Term limits limit terms, stem corruption, and empower voters by giving them more real alternatives on election day. That’s it. Term limits are not a subsitute for ideas, leadership, and fiscal discipline. And anyone who believes that governance in California was invariably impeccable prior to the advent of state legislative term limits should look a little more closely at the states history. Who passed Propposition 13? Not the un-term-limited politicians. Who passed contradictory and disastrous power “deregulation”? A lot of long-entrenched pols not yet termed out of office.

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