San Ramon Watch blogger Steve O'Brien cited a study that says term limits are basically ineffective in California.
“California’s legislative term limits have failed to create a class of ‘citizen legislators’ who serve briefly and then return home to resume private careers," reads the report just released by the Center for Government Studies. "A majority of state legislators stay in government and simply move to other elected offices.”
Unfortunately we’ve got a similar problem in San Ramon. The average tenure for a current council member is a whopping 10 years. Ten freakin years!! King musical chairperson Dave Hudson has been bouncing around city council for 14 years, headed for 16, before he no doubt runs again in 2013. Currently Carol Rowley and Scott Perkins are jonesing for another four, which would put them both in the 12-year club if re-elected this Nov. 8.
Leadership in this city could see more change this year than in several past elections. Mayor H. Abram Wilson terms out. A former school district trustee, Bill Clarkson, and Rowley are running for that seat.
But there's some speculation – and O'Brien brings it up on his blog – that Wilson may run for one of the two council seats on the ballot this fall. Wilson hasn't stated on the record what his plans are. But say he does run. With Perkins running for re-election and Rowley running for another spot on the council, that means that if they're all successful, San Ramon will have the same five people at the helm that have been on for the past eight-plus years.
Of course, there are challengers. There's Clarkson, as I mentioned, and then Phil O'Loane, a former Planning Commissioner who made a name for himself last year as a leader in the successful campaign against a ballot measure that would have expanded San Ramon's urban growth boundary into the undeveloped Tassajara Valley.
(We'll publish Q&As with all the candidates as we make our way into election season, by the way.)
Anyway, I want to ask you, San Ramon Patch readers, what you think of the study's findings and O'Brien's commentary? Has San Ramon benefitted from term limits? How or how not? Tell us in the comments!
To read the entire 56-page report, just click on the PDF attached to this article.