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School Board Rejects Term-Limit Balloting


Trustees of Saddleback Valley Unified School District on Tuesday rejected a proposal that voters be asked to decide whether board members should be limited to two consecutive four-year terms.

"I don't want to see a political issue in front of the board at this time," board President Dore J. Gilbert said as he voted with the majority against the proposal.

But Trustee Frank L. Ury, who sponsored the proposal, said he plans to start a petition drive to get term limits on the ballot anyhow.

"I think it's very important that the voters be given the choice," Ury said.

Gilbert agreed in principle but said he does not think the term-limit issue is a big concern in the community. And he said it would be hypocritical for him to vote in favor of term limits after having served on the school board for 15 years.

Trustee Marcia L. Birch, who also opposed the ballot measure and is running for her third term in November, said the community has never been reluctant to vote out incumbents.

"My mind's logic says if you've never had a problem with something, why are you putting something else in?" Birch said.

Several residents also spoke against the proposal.

"It is my right as a voter to reelect or elect the person who I think will do a good job," Ginny Aitkens said.

Others disagreed. Resident Pat Soriano pledged her support for Ury's petition drive, saying it is "the will of the people to have term limits."

Saddleback Valley Unified is not the first district in Orange County to consider term limits. Anaheim City School District and Tustin Unified School District have debated similar proposals, but neither has taken action yet.

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