Orange County Seal

By Jordan Graham / Staff Writer
published: July 7, 2016
Updated: July 8, 2016 – 6:29 a.m.

An Orange County supervisor has proposed a countywide initiative for the November ballot that would change term limits for him, his colleagues and future board members.

If approved, supervisors would be allowed to serve a maximum of three four-year terms in their lifetime and could serve all three consecutively. They are currently limited to two consecutive terms, but there is no lifetime limit.

“Is 12 years lifetime better than an eight-year revolving door? That’s the issue,” said Supervisor Shawn Nelson, who proposed the initiative this week, saying he wanted to give supervisors enough time to become experienced but not allow the same faces to repeatedly return to the board. “Under this, you could serve three terms in a row, and then you’re done forever.”

However, the new rules could let some current supervisors stay longer. The initiative cannot count past board service, according to state law, potentially allowing Supervisors Nelson and Todd Spitzer to serve consecutively well beyond what current term limits allow.

Nelson said he doesn’t plan to benefit from his proposed change, saying, “I don’t plan to seek another term on the board. I intend to run for judge.

“There’s never a time to propose it where it won’t look like someone might benefit, but right now you have three people on the board in their first term,” he said. “Now is the best time to do it, because it changes the least.”

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