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The Minot City Council on Aug. 3 rejected a proposal to implement term limits for both the mayor and members of the council.
Council member Tom Ross supported the plan, noting that term limits encourage other residents to get involved in local government. Alderman Paul Pitner was the only other supporter of the plan, which failed on a 2-5 vote.
“If term limits are passed, I would welcome somebody to step into my shoes when my term is over,” Ross said. “I don’t want to be up here for a career, and I don’t think any of us should. I think this would send a good message to the citizens of Minot that we’re willing to step aside.”
The plan would have limited council members to serving no more than three consecutive four-year terms, and council members who had served three four-year terms would not be eligible for re-election until the next regular election following the expiration of their third successive term. Any council member who has served in the capacity of mayor as well as council member would not be allowed to serve more than four successive four-year terms.
“I think we’re taking away people’s choice,” City Council Vice-President Lisa Olson said. “We have term limits, and it’s left up to the voters every two years. If we take away that choice, I think we’re making a mistake. I think it’s up to the voters to determine how long someone should be sitting in one of these seats.”