Thursday, July 16, 2009

No Limit to Mayoral Term Limit Discussion

Just four days after incumbent Albuquerque Mayor Martin J. Chavez announced his formal bid for a record fourth term and third straight, one of his opponents is pledging to serve only eight years if he's elected.

On Thursday State Representative Richard "RJ" Berry said:
Term limits for the mayor are the will of the people and needed to keep life-long politicians in check.
Last year, Chavez successfully argued in State District Court that term-limits violated the state's constitution. Two weeks ago he told me at 770KKOB that the court action was not an end run around the voter's will.

On Thursday, Chavez told KOB TV 4's Stuart Dyson if he's elected that this, the fourth term will be his last. But, Dyson writes that minutes later Chavez backed off the statement:
Well, I think it's unwise to definitively say never, never, never because I want folks to understand they have to deal with a mayor at full speed.
But, Richard Berry says that's what Chavez said after being re-elected in 2005:
Chavez told the people of Albuquerque that he wouldn't run for mayor again, but he did not keep his word. He changed his mind, sued the city to throw out term limits for the mayor and went on with politics as usual.

Berry added:
Voters are asking me what this mayor could possibly hope to accomplish in sixteen years that he hasn't had a chance to get done in twelve. Twelve years is a long time. They believe it is time for a change at City Hall.

Former State Senate President Pro-tem Richard Romero, another challenger for the 11th floor office, has been critical of the mayor's 4th bid. He says he favors the City Charter's intent of a two-term maximum for the City’s top executive. In April, Romero told 770KKOB, "cronyism at city hall is causing the city irreparable harm."

On Sunday, Michael Passi, a member of the city charter task force, wrote a commentary for the Albuququere Journal on this issue. Passi noted:
If we lose executive accountability at a time when we've allowed the incumbent to eviscerate our prudent term-limit laws, we are risking a government operation that is purely political and fails to serve the people with integrity.

Chavez has been elected mayor of Albuquerque three times -- in 1993, in 2001 and in 2005. The only other mayor to serve more than one term in Albuquerque is Harry Kinney.


Paul said...

WE have term limits, they are called elections.So called term limits were started with Republicans after FDR, think what this country would have been like without him. Paul Sandman

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