Late in the 2017 City Council Election season, Loveland saw a group of citizens and business owners start a push for a charter amendment to directly elect the mayor of the city, and another one to install term limits for all elected officials. Due to a misunderstanding with the local board of elections, neither amendment made it on the 2017 general election ballot. The issue(s) seemed dead in the water.
The Loveland Charter Review committee was formed in the early days of the Mayor Kathy Bailey administration. I went to one of the early meetings of the new committee to advocate for the inclusion of term limits into the charter. Since I brought up the idea of term limits, the committee has not yet made a change to the charter concerning terms of elected members of council, and the majority members of the committee have vocally dismissed the idea. It was said that term limits were unnecessary because the public did not want them for the Loveland City Council.
Is that true?
Recently The Loveland Tattler commissioned a poll to see if the voters had tired of the idea of term limits for elected members of the city council. The fact is that the voters have not tired of the idea. The reality is that a large majority of Loveland supports term limits for all elected offices, including city council. Over 1400 people who were identified as registered voters in Loveland, Ohio participated in the poll. 62% of those polled said that they would be in favor of a charter amendment putting term limits on the city council. There were no specifics offered on what the term limit amendment would look like (i.e. number of terms, length of terms), yet nearly twice as many people support term limits than those who oppose.
In the spirit of true community engagement, it is the opinion of The Loveland Tattler that the Charter Review Committee, the Loveland City Council, or both bodies, should call for a public hearing on adding term limits to the city charter.
This call to action is likely doomed for failure. I do not anticipate anyone on the Charter Review Committee, or the City Council, to even mention term limits. The politicians, and their political supporters, are predictably against the idea. The public at large is strongly in support of the idea. Given the poll results, if the local government does not want to hear the will of the people, then it may be time to revive the idea to put a charter amendment on a future ballot.
The numbers do not lie. Loveland wants term limits.
Want to see the poll for yourself? Here it is: Loveland Ohio Term Limits Poll: Spring 2018
RD Kulik is a resident of the City of Loveland and the editor at The Loveland Tattler.
Hit him up on twitter @TattlerLoveland or email him firstname.lastname@example.org.