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October 14th, 2016 by Temple City Tribune
I would like to offer my support in favor of the Government Accountability Act – Specifically, in regards to Term Limits.
I remember when Term Limits were imposed in 1992. The citizens of Temple City wanted to impose a term limit as to members serving on the Council. I could go into the reasons but I don’t want to diminish their service.
The City Council we had back then was a whole lot different. It was like the Wild West with Council members doing whatever they wanted and at times acted inappropriately. There were no ethics.
The Brown Act was violated almost on a weekly basis. One Councilmember was overheard saying “This is my City.” I would have rather heard “Temple City is the City I serve.”
The Council at that time resisted the transparency of televised meetings. They almost did not want anyone to know what they were doing. Often they made decisions behind closed doors, in a vacuum without any citizen involvement or input. They did not encourage public discourse on public hearings. The citizens were not engaged on major decisions.
Fast forward to 2008. New Council members were elected. Almost immediately:
– Council Meetings were televised.
– Mayor’s State of the City were once again instituted.
– Resources and direction were given through the city’s worst windstorm in history in 2011.
– The award winning Connect Magazine was developed as a sought after informational resource engaging its citizens.
– The Council actively seeks the input of its citizens through open forums and information meetings.
– Six years ago the Council and Commissions decided to adopt Protocols and desired behavior of elected officials, staff, and Commission members. A Councilmember actually teaches ethics at a local community college.
– Our Parks & Recreation department is the envy of other cities with programs that meet the needs of a diverse population.
– Neighborhood Watch and Community Emergency Response Training is the model for other cities.
– We have recently received the distinction of the 37th safest city in California thanks to community involvement and our assigned deputies.
As a business owner for the past 61 years I love this city to much to see our Council become a training ground for novice members. The learning curve is to steep. The current council has a combined 30 plus years serving as commissioners.
The Temple City Unified School District does not have term limits and I think the City should follow suit.
If a Councilmember deviates from serving the electorate then several things can happen:
– You might be defeated in the normal election process.
– You might be recalled.
– You could be sanctioned by fellow Councilmembers.
We are on the threshold of new and exciting major projects in our City such as the Library expansion, the opening of Camellia Square, the development of the old Alpha Beta site on Temple City Blvd.. In my opinion we need seasoned Councilmembers to see these projects through.
Please either vote in person or by absentee ballot to preserve great leadership.
– Jerry Jambazian