Local 24 political analyst and commentator Otis Sanford shares his point of view on Term-Limit Referendum.
If Memphis voters were looking for a reason to vote no on a referendum to extend term limits for city council members and the mayor, that reason was served up on a silver platter Wednesday by the guy who crafted the referendum’s language. That guy is city council attorney Allan Wade.
The ballot proposal he put together is worded in a way that, if approved by voters, would keep former Mayor Willie Herenton from seeking the office again. And Herenton is none too happy about it.
He and his one-time city attorney Robert Spence went before the news media Wednesday to blast the term limit referendum that is on the November 6th general election ballot. Herenton called the wording “deliberate treachery” and “dishonesty” orchestrated by current Mayor Jim Strickland to prevent Herenton from following through on his plan to run for the office again next year.
But Wade says the language in the referendum was simply an unintentional error on his part; that Strickland had nothing to do with.
Whether it was intended to stop Herenton from running or not, the referendum was sneaky to begin with. Council members and the mayor are currently limited to serving two consecutive 4-year terms. This proposal would lengthen it to three terms without ever mentioning the current term limit restrictions.
For that reason alone, voters should consider voting no. Which would make Herenton’s argument moot. And that’s my point of view.