Charter Commissioner Proposes Term Limit for Mayor and City Council

By KBJR News 1

Charter Commissioner Proposes Term Limit for Mayor and City Council

July 3, 2013 Updated Jul 3, 2013 at 6:23 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.com) - A dispute between the Mayor Don Ness and Charter Commission Member Eli Miletich over term limits for government officials has been getting some attention.

Miletich proposed an amendment in April that would prohibit a mayor and city councilors from serving more than two terms.

Miletich says this approach would help bring in new ideas and encourage citizen participation in government.

He also says this tactic has been around for a long time in government and is designed to bring in new ideas.

Three of the last four Duluth mayors who ran for re–election lost.

Ness, who ran unopposed in 2011, says that is an indicator there doesn't need to be a hard rule on term limits.

He says Miletich, a former Duluth Police chief, is motivated by resentment over losing a court battle with the city over retiree health benefits and as a result has proposed this resolution.

He goes on to say that there is nothing wrong with having a debate about the issue, but it should not be politically motivated.

"Clearly in my mind, Eli Miletich is doing this for the expressed purpose of making a political point and trying to prohibit me from running again," Mayor Ness said.

"This proposal is meant to encourage other people, to get themselves involved in the political mainstream...running for city council or running for Mayor. It isn't directed at any single individual," Miletich said.

The resolution is expected to be voted on at the next Charter Commission meeting on July 10 at 5 pm in city council chambers.

If passed by the commission it would then go to the city council for a vote, then on a ballot for the public to decide.

Ness' term will be up in 2015 and he has not made a decision on whether he will run for another term.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com