Sanford: Voters will have even more on their plate in mid-term general election

MLGW President Jerry Collins (ceneter) tells City Council committee members that it's time for a utility rate increase.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis voters will have plenty to consider in this fall’s mid-term general election. Open seats for Tennessee governor and the U.S. senate will be on the ballot as will several state legislative positions.

Now city voters will also have to vote on a referendum to increase term limits for City Council members and mayor from two to three terms.

The current council voted 11 to one on Tuesday to put the issue on the November ballot. In doing so, most are hoping voters say yes because, let’s face it, these folks are politicians and they relish holding positions of authority and power.

Without the change, six of the current 13 council members will be forced to leave office at the end of 2019. They include Councilman Joe Brown who has held his seat nearly 20 years. Others have served on the council at least 10 years.

Some of the newer members argue that two four-year terms are not enough time to get fully grounded in city government policies or to make a meaningful contribution toward making Memphis better.

Perhaps they have a point.

Perhaps three terms would have been better to begin with, but the message voters sent in setting a limit of two terms was that elected positions should not become lengthy careers. Come November, we will find out if voters meant what they said.