Let's begin with what is to me the most important of the 4 measures. Measure BBB....
"Don't BBB fooled". The mayor and other supporters of this measure are asking the voters to "strengthen" our LB term limits. They are asking us to "close the recently identified loophole". Giving the elected's 4 more years does not "strengthen" our government. It limits participation of new voices with new ideas and new perspectives.
In 1992 Long Beach voters voted to support two 4 year term limits. They did that to avoid the same voices, influenced by the outside powers to remain in power because of name recognition. It's very difficult to unseat an incumbent!
That served our city well until Mayor Foster placed two options on the 2007 ballot. One choice was for voters to approve three 4 year terms. That was defeated by a 2/3 majority vote! The other that did pass, was for an incumbent to be able to run a write-in campaign for the primary currently held in April and if`they took 1st or 2nd place their name could appear on the ballot for the general in June. The voters agreed that this was a fair compromise!
Now, one mayor later, they're asking for the voters to support the current mayor and city council to have easier access to that third term. Four more years of making decisions that will influence both the districts and the city as a whole for decades. Why you ask?
Job security? Council positions should not be considered automatic career opportunities or a stepping stone to higher office. Ideally they should be filled by citizens volunteering for a limited period of time to give their time and experience to represent their neighborhoods in solving common problems. Fresh ideas. Renewed energy. Diverse viewpoints.
Giving this council four more years does not strengthen our government. In fact, today most items that come before the city council are answered with a 9-0 vote. How is that possible? Do they not have questions related to issues that the community brings forward to them? Important issues, like the LUE (Land Use Element Plan) or even their 9-0 vote to bring these four measures before you in a "special" election. That was after witnessing over 150 residents opposing these charter amendments versus 1 LBFD union representative who spoke in favor.
They may listen to the public's 3 minutes of testimony, but they are not hearing what is being said! Not one public comment was discussed prior to their vote.
The so called "loophole" is what voters approved in 2007. If a seated mayor or council member has done an outstanding job then they can be re-elected by their constituents through the write-in process that voters approved 11 years ago.
And yes, they could be re-elected for as many terms as their constituents believe in their leadership! That does not appear to be the problem.......
More to come.....stay tuned!