News


Woodside: Term limits for Town Council?

 

Of the 20 incorporated towns and cities in San Mateo County, five – Redwood City, Foster City, San Mateo, Millbrae and Pacifica – have term limits for their council members.

Will Woodside join this group? At a recent Town Council meeting, Town Manager Kevin Bryant brought the topic up in replying to an October 2015 request by then mayor Tom Shanahan and Councilwoman Anne Kasten to schedule a discussion of term limits.

Term limits has some support and at least one opponent on the council.

Councilman Chris Shaw said he does not like the idea. "It's the responsibility of the electorate to make choices, and term limits, to me, they seem like a nanny-state solution to people not being willing to get engaged and cast a vote," he said. "If you don't like the system, vote to change it. Run. Find somebody else to run. ... Having to have the government make decisions for you is just abdication of your responsibility as a citizen."

Councilwoman Anne Kasten, while agreeing with Mr. Shaw's nanny-state point, said said she "very much" wants to discuss term limits, in part because deciding to run against an incumbent in a small town is a difficult decision. "Everybody knows everybody," she said. "It's a very uncomfortable situation." Mr. Shaw conceded that she had a point.

Ms. Kasten said she occasionally runs into people who thank her, but add that they're grateful for her service so they don't have to serve. "I don't think that is the way a democracy should run," she said. "I feel that we as a council need to bring people's attention to the fact that this is their town and that they need to participate in it. They need to contribute. I think it's really important ... (and) we owe it to our residents to have a conversation about it."

"My inclination," Councilman Tom Livermore said, "would be to adopt reasonable term limits." They can't be too short, he said, because the learning curve is too high, but "having some turnover over an extended period of time is a good thing."

Councilman Peter Mason and Daniel Yost and Mayor Deborah Gordon said they're open to the discussion.

Councilman Dave Tanner did not express an opinion at the meeting and has not yet responded to a request for comment.

Woodside voters would have to approve an ordinance to institute term limits.

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Comments

6 people like this
Posted by New to Woodside
a resident of Woodside: Woodside Hills
on Oct 17, 2016 at 9:08 am

Term limits. Absolutely. Bring in some new blood.


6 people like this
Posted by yes
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 17, 2016 at 11:14 am

Yes to Term limits. It's nearly impossible to run against an incumbent.

2 terms = 8 years
3 terms = 12 years

People can feel free to serve on other committees after their term is up.

12 years seems like an awfully long time.


7 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 17, 2016 at 11:21 am

pogo is a registered user.

We have term limits. Just don't vote for the person you dislike when they run.


2 people like this
Posted by yes
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 17, 2016 at 11:47 am

Pogo, you're not getting the point. I don't dislike any of the incumbents, but I do want new voices a chance to be heard. It's nearly impossible to run successfully against an incumbent. Term limits are structural ways to ensure there is new blood periodically.

Let the voters decide.


4 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Oct 17, 2016 at 1:18 pm

pogo is a registered user.

yes -

It would be nice if someone just TRIED. The biggest problem is finding someone - anyone - willing to run.


4 people like this
Posted by Retired Realtor
a resident of Woodside: Mountain Home Road
on Jan 11, 2017 at 10:08 am

How telling that Shaw, the council member who ran a smear campaign against a respected volunteer, doesn't want term limits. And Tanner, who has been on the council for an ungodly amount of time, can't be bothered to discuss the matter. What would his business do without that seat?


Like this comment
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 11, 2017 at 2:18 pm

pogo is a registered user.

We have term limits. Every four years you get to decide if you want new blood.


Like this comment
Posted by Menlo Voter.
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jan 11, 2017 at 6:26 pm

Menlo Voter. is a registered user.

Shaw didn't run a "smear campaign" he exposed misfeasance to the light of day. And the voters of Woodside, tired of being bullied and cost large amounts of money by small cadre of "volunteers", spoke loudly that they were tired of it.


4 people like this
Posted by Susan Smith
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 12, 2017 at 8:09 am

It would be nice if Dave Tanner, whose business has CLEARLY benefitted from his position on the woodside Planning Commission and the town Council step aside and let some new blood into this government cartel.


4 people like this
Posted by pogo
a resident of Woodside: other
on Jan 12, 2017 at 11:58 am

pogo is a registered user.

Susan Smith -

Mr. Tanner comes up for re-election in November. If you don't like him, find a candidate to run against him. If enough people share your belief, Mr. Tanner will be replaced.

That's how it works.


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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