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Charter Reform Study Group Recommends Term Limits for Councilmembers and Mayor

Published on Friday, March 29, 2024 | 6:04 am

The Charter Reform Study Group last week voted to recommend the City Council place term limits on the November ballot.

The term limits would limit the Mayor’s position to three consecutive four-year terms and limit each member of the City Council to three consecutive four-year terms for each District.

Partial terms of less than two years would not count towards a full term.

After a four-year hiatus, or after four years in another City Council elected office, eligibility to hold elected office for two additional four-year terms.

The effective date of term limits would be 2026 for Council Districts 3, 5, and 7 and 2028 for the Mayor and Council Districts 1, 2, 4, and 6.

However, locals pushing for term limits would not see immediate impacts. State laws prevent term limits from being enforced retroactively.

All current City Council members and the mayor would start at zero and would be eligible to serve 12 additional years.

Currently, the City Charter allows Councilmembers to serve four-year terms for the mayor and Councilmembers, with no limits.

In February, the group has a robust discussion on the topic.

Consultant Baker Tilly conducted research on nine Pasadena peer cities: Anaheim, Berkeley, Burbank, Glendale, Long Beach, Santa Ana, Santa Barbara, Santa Monica, and Torrance.

Based on their research, out of the nine cities, six have term limits. Anaheim, Santa Barbara, and Torrance allow no more than two consecutive four-year terms while Glendale, Long Beach, and Santa Monica allow no more than three consecutive four-year terms.

As per Shauna Clark, Special Advisor from Baker Tilly, having term limits would create more opportunities for non-incumbents to be elected. However, it can also shorten the tenure of the community’s most experienced legislators.

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