Backers of a new campaign to impose term limits on Glendale City Council members won a narrow victory this week as a divided council agreed to let voters decide the issue in the upcoming March presidential primary.
A committee of Glendale business leaders asked the council Tuesday to hold a special election on a city charter amendment limiting council members to two consecutive four-year terms. A similar drive died in 1992 after proponents failed to gather enough signatures to place the issue on the ballot.
Council members Sheldon Baker, Eileen Givens and Mary Ann Plumley stopped short of endorsing term limits but argued that the matter should be decided by the voters, not the council. Mayor Rick Reyes and Councilman Larry Zarian disagreed, saying proponents should follow the initiative process and gather the estimated 4,000 signatures needed to put the issue before the electorate.
"All we're saying is, we believe there is a lot of support for this and we think the voters should be able to speak on the issue," said Gerald Barrone, spokesman for the term-limit supporters.
"Whenever the voters have had the opportunity, they have voted for term limits. We aren't targeting anything with this, we just feel it's an idea whose time has come," he said.
Under the proposed amendment, council members who leave office after completing two terms would be able to seek the office again after a two-year hiatus.