Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The front page of The New York Times today is graced by a story about efforts to abolish term limits -- along with two stories about the new director of the Metropolitan Museum. I guess we'll look at term limits.
In what could be called the second-term itch, they are pushing to revise the laws so they can serve another term (New York City and Rowlett, Tex.) or to repeal them so they can seek re-election indefinitely (State College, Pa., and Daytona Beach Shores, Fla.).
"It has been an unmitigated disaster for the city," said Phil Hardberger, the departing mayor of San Antonio, who supports a November referendum to lengthen term limits to four two-year terms from two.
"The learning curve of how city government works and how to get things done is steep, but when you keep putting people in, and throwing them out, there is very little accountability," he added. "We do a lot of churning here, but we don't produce a lot of butter."
The story doesn't let us know anything startlingly new about term limits, but it will be fascinating to see whether local officials do a better job at convincing voters about the problems term limits create than their state-level counterparts have managed to do.
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