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Special Election in Aventura and Term Limits

April 11th, 2011 · 5 Comments

Recently submitted to the blog for readers, residents, tourists, and anyone else perusing the site. This concerns the proposed special election on April 12, 2011 as per the agenda recap link referred to in the article. Please feel free to leave comments below.

Special Election in Aventura and Term Limits
by: Enbar Cohen – Aventura Resident

After the minutes and agenda for the February 1, 2011, Aventura Commission meeting were posted, I remembered the aphorism I learned in my college textbooks, “All politics are local.”

I scrolled through the agenda reading each item, but when I read item “J” it sounded familiar. Item “J” includes Section 2.03 Election and term of office, which reads that the Mayoral seat and Commission seat 2, 4, and 6 will be extended from March 2009 to November 2010; also, the term of office for Commission seats 1, 3, and 5 will be extended from March 2011 to November 2012.

Item “J” was a resolution from the City of Aventura Commission that proposed a submission to the electors of proposed amendments to the City Charter regarding “Limitation on Lengths of Service” and “Election and Term of Office”. It is a proposal for an additional term extension of sorts.

So what exactly does this provision mean?

Instead of eight years, no person may serve as a combination of Mayor and Commissioner for more than twelve consecutive years. The suggestion to amend the Charter from eight years to twelve years was recommended by the Charter Revision Commission. The Charter Revision Commission (CRC), according to the City Clerk, is comprised of a group of Aventura Residents who serve a 5-year term, and are appointed by the City Commission.

As a resident of Aventura for over 10 years, I have a few concerns. Who is paying for the Special Election to extend these service years for the Mayoral and Commission seats? Furthermore, is the group of people who were appointed by the City Commission the same group of people who proposed to the Commission that eight years of service should be stricken and changed to twelve years?

In my opinion, you are either for term limits or against them. Not having term limits, or extending the term of office that voters initially voted on, can be beneficial. First, not having term limits allows the voter to build rapport with their government officials, so that decisions are made more collectively. Additionally, it allows people to gain experience in office. But, if an official serves in the same seat for too long, it impedes the democratic process.

I support term limits and think 8 years is enough. The lack of term limits can lead to a system of seniority, promote ties to special interests, obstruct new candidates from representation, and stagnate the creativity of its members.

Regardless if you are pro-term limits or not, if you are an informed voter, you will know what is in the minutes and agenda of your Commission meetings. Although I may not be able to attend every Commission meeting, I make sure that I read the Minutes and Agenda as soon as they are posted, so that when an unexpected Special Election notice is hanging in my building lobby, I know what exactly is going on and what I’m voting for. In this case, I am voting against extending the Aventura term limits, and I hope all concerned citizens will take a similar stand.

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You can view the minutes and agendas on the official city website – Agendas and Recaps

Related posts:

  1. DestinyMaker is pushing the limits again
  2. Terzetto Villas update Public Hearing
  3. Who will win the election?
  4. Terzetto Public Hearing Unfolding
  5. MIA Acupuncture pokes Aventura

Tags: Community News

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Timothy W Sternberg via Facebook // Apr 11, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    I am absolutely against extending the term limits and I am incredibly outraged with the fact that the city spent money for a special election for this. Utterly ridiculous!

  • 2 Sean // Apr 11, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    The author is right. This is a self-serving special election. The Aventura commissioners must be drinking the same stuff as the Miami-Dade Commisioners! 8 years is enough!! 12 is too many. Why do these politicians think they can change the rules at a whim to keep themselves in power longer? Voters should shut this idea down by voting “no”! If this passes then ALL commissioners should be voted out of office in the next election.

  • 3 B // Apr 11, 2011 at 11:41 pm

    I agree. 8 years is more than enough.

  • 4 Stuart L. Werner via Facebook // Apr 12, 2011 at 8:55 am

    I am against extending term limits. The current limits have worked for 25 years – why change? The only purpose for changing them is to keep the incumbents in office longer . . .

  • 5 Sophy Rindler via Facebook // Apr 28, 2011 at 7:25 am

    I agree with the 2 of you. I did send my ballot against it, but I think it’s a waste of time and money that could be utilized towards real issues.

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