Fayette Commission says 'No' to term limits, 24-hour notice to public
Proposals to impose term limits for Fayette County commissioners and to impose a 24-hour public notice on agenda times requiring a vote were discussed and dismissed at Wednesday’s meeting of the Fayette County Commission.
The Jan. 5 meeting was the first for new commissioners Allen McCarty and Steve Brown, who had the items placed on the agenda.
A proposed policy that would have imposed a limit of two consecutive four-year terms for commissioners was discussed and determined not to have a consensus that would lead to the measure being placed on the board’s next meeting agenda for a vote.
Brown in advocating for the policy cited a dozen reasons why term limits were appropriate. Among those were voter preference, increased political competition, limiting ties to special interests and the introduction of fresh thinking and new ideas.
McCarty continued with his assessment of the proposal, saying that elected officials can easily become too comfortable in their positions and that it is preferable to keep “new blood” in commission seats and old viewpoints out.
Commissioner Herb Frady, who earlier in the meeting had been elected chairman on a 3-2 vote, said he thought term limits were appropriate for governor, presidents and county commission chairs, but not for commissioners.
Commissioner Robert Horgan agreed, saying that the current system works well.
Commissioner Lee Hearn also agreed, noting that he believes voters are educated when it comes to electing commissioners and adding that he would hate to see someone such as a potential Thomas Jefferson limited to two terms.
As for the consideration of a policy prohibiting a vote on any item not on the agenda be available to the public and news media 24 hours prior to the meeting, that request, too, went nowhere.
After a brief discussion Frady, Hearn and Horgan did not support the request being included on next meeting’s agenda for a vote.