Assembly president: Actions were misinterpreted

Posted: Friday, July 10, 2009

In recent letters to the editor of the Peninsula Clarion, both Mike McBride and Vicki Pate have accused me of something that never occurred. They obviously misinterpreted information from a past news article.

I am referring to the assembly term limits. As they suggested, I did ask legal draw up an ordinance, to place before the voters, the option of a three-term limit. At no time did I ever entertain asking the assembly to take that action. I have too much respect for the electorate and the wishes they expressed in the election two years ago. Therefore, when ACT filed the term limit initiative, for which they are now gathering signatures, I told legal not to draw up the ordinance, I would not pursue it, as I felt one term limit issue before the voters was enough. I did not want to muddy the waters.

However, I think the public needs to realize, by limiting to two terms, with no clarification of what constitutes a term, or total time served, it creates the potential for less than six years of service. That is the case for one sitting member now. He completed the last year of a three-year term for a member who stepped down, and then was elected to a full three-year term.

Under the two-term limit, after four years, he is term limited. Also, after the next census, any assemblyperson whose district population has changed by more than 5 percent, will have to stand for election, regardless where in the cycle they are. This occurred to me in 2002. In order to serve three terms, I have stood for four elections.

Personally, it is my hope the public will rethink the value of term limits, which applies only to the assembly, and no other body. The option to limit those terms exists, always has, at the ballot box.

To restate again, at no time did I ever entertain bringing before the assembly, for assembly action only, an issue that would have negated the wishes of the voting public.

Milli Martin, assembly president

Homer

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