Jax City Council term limit referendum vote fails, despite Council President backing it – Florida Politics (blog)
Tuesday night saw the Jacksonville City Council reject a bill that would authorize an Aug. 2018 referendum to extend the current two-term limit to three for most city elected officials.
The bill, sponsored by second-term Councilman Matt Schellenberg, would have applied to every office but that of mayor.
It failed 6-10, however, despite Council President Anna Brosche supporting it.
In addition to giving another term to City Council members, the measure would have afforded constitutional officers (Sheriff, Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, and Tax Collector) and School Board members a three-term limit, pending voter approval.
The bill had been deferred four weeks by a 15-4 vote, after a contentious meeting in July. And the interregnum didn’t remove the reasons for said contention, even as a poll was conducted in the interim saying that term limit changes were conceptually unpopular with Duval County voters.
Councilman John Crescimbeni noted that poll jibed with the 82 percent who voted for two-term limits in 1991, promising that voters would “retaliate” against those who voted for the referendum.
Then Councilman Tommy Hazouri introduced a floor amendment to exclude current office holders, saying that this would allow Council members to not be excused of voting in their interest.
The amendment, which failed 9-10 four weeks before, got strong objection from Schellenberg.
Crescimbeni also said the amendment was flawed, given that as written, someone elected in 2023 was precluded from three consecutive terms, as the cut off date of July 1 was after the city election day.
Councilman Al Ferraro noted the irony of the two longest-tenured pols on Council telling first-termers that they shouldn’t run again. That didn’t last long.
“It’s difficult to talk to you about issues like this because you don’t know what you’re talking about,” Hazouri snapped back.
The language of the amendment was cleaned up to exclude current office