Jacksonville Council Postpones Anti-Term Limits Vote

Tuesday July 25th, 2017 is a date the Jacksonville City Council won’t soon forget. It was the day they had hand-picked for a late-night vote to lengthen their own term limits, but instead they were forced to postpone the vote.

Simply put, the Council underestimated U.S. Term Limits and the people of Jacksonville. In the hours leading up to the vote, residents sent an unprecedented number of emails to the Council pleading with them to keep in place the 8-year term limit passed by 82% of voters.

The Florida-Times Union published TWO editorials against the power grab:

Jacksonville Councilman John Crescimbeni advises colleagues not to mess with term limits.

by their editorial board and another by yours truly. Prominent radio host Ed Dean provided coverage of the council’s scheme, which helped alert even more people.

With pressure building, the Council was put on the defensive. Instead of debating term limits, the debate evolved into whether the politicians are behaving in a self-serving manner (of course they are!)
Council members Tommy Hazouri and John Crescimbeni – both Democrats – cautioned their fellow councilmen about attacking term limits. They warned that voters would never allow it to happen and would punish at the ballot box any member who voted to give themselves a third term.

At around 10:30 PM, it became clear that the Council lacked the votes to put this repugnant anti-term limits measure on the ballot. But that didn’t faze Councilwoman Katrina Brown, who was adamant about securing her third term.

Brown claimed that the pro-term limits emails she received couldn’t possibly have come from her constituents, since her district has a “lot of seniors who don’t have email.” She then incorrectly referred to members of the millennial generation as “millenniums,” and suggested that voters now prefer career politicians to term limits. Polling shows she’s completely wrong.

Finally, Brown added “I’m not self-serving, and I’m not going to let my colleagues say I’m self-serving.”
Brown is best known for bilking Jacksonville taxpayers out of $600,000 in economic development funds earmarked for her failed barbecue sauce company. She reportedly drives a brand new Porsche SUV.

Hazouri and Crescimbeni spoke in simple truths, questioning whether anyone in Jacksonville beyond the 19 members of the Council wanted to give politicians more time in office. Crescimbeni even pulled out a pro-term limits sign he had saved from the 1991 “eight is enough” campaign.

The postponed vote means we’ve won a battle against the anti-term limits bill, but we haven’t won the war. It will come up again on August 22nd, and without vigilance, it could succeed. We will be monitoring the situation very closely.

Nick Tomboulides is the Executive Director of U.S. Term Limits

About Nick Tomboulides