San Bernardino City Councilman Rikke Van Johnson will propose term limits and campaign fundraising limits for city elected officials at the Oct. 17, 2011 City Council meeting.(Kurt Miller/the press-enterprise)


Published: 16 October 2011 07:09 PM

The San Bernardino City Council today will discuss having a committee consider changes to the city charter that would create term limits and limit campaign contributions to candidates for elected city offices.

Sixth Ward Councilman Rikke Van Johnson placed the proposal on the agenda. The proposal asks the council to request that the Legislative Review Committee draw up the changes to the city’s constitution.

“Term limits helps you get people in there with fresh ideas,” Johnson said Friday. “People would not build relationships that would cause them to work for special interests and not the city.”

In San Bernardino, the seven council members, mayor, city attorney, city clerk and city treasurer are elected. They serve four-year terms.

None would be allowed to serve more than three consecutive terms. Anyone serving three consecutive terms would have to sit out two years before holding office again. Anyone serving more than half a term would be considered having served a full term.

“Long tenured individuals generally, if not always, become a little jaded, indifferent, cynical and arrogant,” a staff report said.

Johnson said he is proposing campaign finance changes because he said the system is skewed toward those with the most money.

“It’s creating an unfair playing field. It’s also excluding the people we represent,” Johnson said. “They can’t compete with the special interests as far as campaign contributions. Also the fact that special interests usually don’t represent the municipalities in which they serve.”

To read entire story, click here.