Contact: Nicolas Tomboulides, US Term Limits
School Board Term Limits Score Straw Poll Landslide in Jacksonville
The movement to term limit Florida School Board members picked up a big victory Saturday, winning support from 85 percent of voters in a Jacksonville straw poll.
The poll, sponsored by WBOB and News4Jax, also invited participants to weigh in on several statewide and local races. But no candidate came close to matching the support for term limits, which received 128 votes of support to only 22 against.
“The era of career politicians is over” said Nick Tomboulides, Executive Director of U.S. Term Limits, who spoke at the event. “This confirms the people of Florida have seen the benefits of eight-year term limits and want to expand that to school boards.”
U.S. Term Limits is encouraging Florida’s Constitutional Revision Commission (CRC) to let voters decide in November whether the state Constitution should be amended to include an eight-year limit for all school boards. CRC Commissioner Erika Donalds, a Collier County School Board member, is sponsoring the measure (Proposals 43 and 6003). It needs a “yes” vote from 22 of the Commission’s 37 members to make the fall ballot.
Currently, the Florida Constitution limits the Governor, Cabinet and State Legislature to eight years. Citizen-created referenda have also resulted in term limits for a representative majority of county commissioners. But, with the exception of Duval County, zero school boards in Florida have term limits.
In his remarks, Tomboulides noted that Jacksonville was the birthplace of the term limits movement in Florida, passing a citizen initiative to term limit their City Council in 1991, with 82 percent of the vote. That was even before the statewide ballot measure in 1992.
“The citizens of Jacksonville knew before anybody else that term limits could renew democracy, reduce corruption and deliver fresh ideas,” he added. “How fitting that this city is also a trailblazer for school board term limits.”