Jun 28, 2011 12:09 AM by Bill Folsom

El Paso County term limit ballot issue debate

A public hearing on whether a ballot question should go back on a ballot this year brought both criticism and praise Thursday evening for El Paso County Commissioners. The reason for the special hearing is because some citizens think wording about term limits on last Novembers ballot was confusing and deceiving.

The complaint is that voters thought they were voting for term limits and not an extension of term limits. Wording on the ballot asked if term limits for elected leaders in the county should be limited to three terms. It did not say there is a current limit of two years.

Some commenting in favor of the ballot accused those who put on the ballot of being intentionally manipulative. Others were less harsh. Kanda Calef said she doesn't believe in term limits, but said the issue should go back on the ballot to ensure the public trust. "I believe in using elections as a way of term limiting people, but i am concerned about the public's view of each of you if we don't put it back on the ballot."

The other side said you can't go back every time you don't like the outcome of an election. They pointed out that close to 115-thousand people voted and the extension of term limits passed by 60-percent. Lois Landgraf said, "There was a margin of approximately 47-thousand people and I find it preposterous to believe that over 47-thousand people did not know what they were voting for."

It was strictly a hearing so there was no decision by commissioners. That will likely happen the first week of August.



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