April 16, 2011 2:30 PM
VICTORVILLE • The City Council on Tuesday will discuss whether it should ask voters to amend Victorville’s charter and approve term limits for council members.
Councilwoman Angela Valles said she agendized the topic after a number of constituents called for the move in light of Victorville’s financial woes and years of incumbents being reelected term after term.
“I don’t really like the idea of policy dictating who we should vote for. I think people should vote smart and stay informed and get involved,” Valles said, with a goal to increase transparency so citizens can make wise choices during future elections. “But I think we need to discuss it and hear from the people, hear from both sides. …I don’t think that the city can afford another 40-year era of Caldwell.”
Councilman Terry Caldwell served Victorville for 38 years before opting not to run for reelection in November, as the city faces a massive budget deficit and investigations by the FBI, Securities and Exchange Commission and San Bernardino County Grand Jury.
Councilman Mike Rothschild has been on the Council for nearly 27 years and Mayor Pro Tem Rudy Cabriales for nearly 13, with Councilwoman JoAnn Almond having served 16 years before she was ousted last fall.
Roughly 19 percent of California’s 482 cities have some form of term limits, according to data from the League of California Cities, with the concept growing in popularity in recent years amid a down economy and rise of anti-incumbent groups such as the Tea Party.
Needles is the only city in San Bernardino County with term limits, restricting its mayor to serving four consecutive two-year terms.
Voters in four Riverside County cities overwhelmingly opted to establish term limits during the November election. Council members in Murrieta, Menifee and Indian Wells can now only serve two consecutive terms, but can run again after a two- or four-year lapse. In Hemet, council members can only ever serve three terms.
California’s government code states term limits can end up on the ballot in one of two ways: Either the governing board can request the change or residents can gather signatures from 15 percent of registered voters to qualify the ballot measure.
The Council will discuss Valles’ proposal during the meeting that starts at 7 p.m. Tuesday night in City Hall, at 14343 Civic Drive.
Brooke Edwards may be reached at (760) 955-5358 or at bedwards@VVDailyPress.com.
Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.