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Longboat Key Wednesday, Mar. 31, 2010 7 years ago

Commission term limit clarification approved

by: Kurt Schultheis Senior Editor

The Longboat Key Town Commission will allow town attorney David Persson to draft an amendment to its town charter that clarifies partial term limits.

At its Thursday, March 25 regular workshop, the commission agreed that if a Key resident agreed to take over a term from a commissioner who was stepping down, it would not count as a term if the resident served less than half of a two-year term.

But if someone served more than half of a two-year term for a departing commissioner, it would count as a term if that person decided to run again for another two-year term.

The commission made the decision after Persson explained that he wasn’t satisfied with the latest interpretation of term limits, which allowed former Mayor Lee Rothenberg to run for an additional two-year term this month.

“We have multiple interpretations in our charter about term limits,” Persson said. “It should be clear to those who want to run and those who want to vote what the requirements are.”

The commission approved by a 5-2 vote at its Dec. 7 regular meeting a resolution that allows commissioners to serve three consecutive two-year terms, plus any time served as a partial term limit for being appointed.

The move allowed Rothenberg, who was scheduled to vacate office in March 2010 after serving what he thought was the end of his three terms in office, to run for another term again this year.

It’s not the first time the interpretation of term limits has been modified.

The commission adopted a resolution in 2006 that allowed former Commissioner Peter O’Connor to finish out two months of a partial term without affecting his ability to run for three consecutive two-year terms once his partial term ended.

Persson crafted the resolution after O’Connor expressed a desire to fill the partial term as long as it didn’t count against his future terms.

The resolution, however, that was adopted in December, allows commissioners to serve the remainder of a partial term — no matter the length of time — and still be eligible for three consecutive two-year terms once the partial term expires.

Also at the workshop, Commissioner Robert Siekmann requested that term limits be discussed at a future workshop. Specifically, Siekmann wants to discuss the time limits for term limits and potential pay for commissioners.

Contact Kurt Schulteis at [email protected].

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