Maple Ridge Council term limits for elected positions

October 28, 2011

Corisa Bell for Maple Ridge Council
Question asked at the Maple Ridge All Candidates meeting in Fraserview where candidates, including Corisa Bell, addressed specific questions.

Preamble: Term limits for elected officials exist in other democracies but currently there are no limits put on how many terms and individual can be elected to office at the municipal level in Maple Ridge. Is this a case where if voters are unhappy with the direction city hall is going the impetus is on the voter to get organized and change the makeup of council, or is the current set up which allows multiple terms to be served by the same individuals driving voters away because they don’t think their vote will matter and the results will be the same.

Question: Do you support the creation of term limits for elected municipal positions? If yes how would you bring this about, and enforce these limits, if no why do you feel that it is better for the city to have open limits on how long a person can serve on council?

I’m in favor of terms being limited to two in succession. I feel that not having term limits tends to cause politicians to think in terms of what will get them reelected, instead of in terms of what is best for the constituents and our community.

When you work for a company, you have to work hard to keep your job, make decisions in the best interest of the company, and increase profits in order to earn raises, be given bonuses or to advance to a better job.

Currently by not having term limits, an elected politician just has to stay “acceptable” or “under the radar” to constituents while keeping happy the special interest groups that donate to their campaign to ensure enough money for reelection. The rest is just name recognition.

Implementing term limits would increase competition, encourage new challengers and new ideas, encourage citizen participation over career politicians, and improve tendency to vote on principle rather than on reelection. Terms limits would also discourage incumbents from forming slates.

Click here to download responses to all 9 questions in PDF form

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