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Jefferson City council considers easing term limits

Council members in the Jefferson City are considering softening the rules that govern term limits in elected office.

The proposal would allow former mayors and city council members who were term limited out of office to run again after a one-term waiting period.

Under the current law, council members are prohibited from running for a fifth, two-year term and mayors can serve two, four-year terms before the limit bans them from the office for life.

Councilman Ken Hussey is a chief supporter of the charter change. He says often times since of the best people for the job are barred from the office, even though they may be who the majority of citizens want for the job.

“It’s not as though people are lining up to serve on the council,” said Hussey. “We’ve got lots of people in the community that may have served 10, 20, 30 years ago, who have something to offer of value and want to continue their service, and right now they’re not permitted.”

Fourth ward councilman Ron Fitzwater does not support term limits at all, but says he recognizes the voter’s want them.

“Think the committee tried to strike a balance for people who just absolutely don’t like term limits, with some options that allowed somebody to take a cooling off period and then be able to run again,” Fitzwater said.

Discussion on the issue has been postponed until January 14 at 6 p.m. A special meeting will be held on that date to take public comment and hear any questions or concerns from city council members.

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