Thursday, November 24, 2011

Polk County Commissioner sues to overturn voter-approved 8-year term limits

Battling rapacious politicians is like a game of whack-a-mole. No sooner do the citizens slap down a greedy pol in Broward, Palm Beach or just this week in Sarasota, but another schemer pops up to try to circumvent the will of the people to line his own pockets. This time it is Polk County.

The perp this time is Polk County Commissioner Bob English, who is term limited in 2012. In 2000, over 60 percent of the voters approved measures to limit county commissioners to eight years in office and to reduce their salaries from roughly $80,000 to $40,000 a year. English, with politically connected Lakeland businessman Sam Killebrew, have sued the voters to overturn the charter amendments claiming they are unconstitutional.

As noted in previous posts, the highest court to ever rule on the constitutionality of term limits -- the 4th District Court of Appeals -- decided unanimously in August that term limits are indeed constitutional when approved by voters in home rule, or charter, counties.

But when there is money and power at stake, English and Killebrew are clearly unimpressed by puny things like elections, the will of the voters, clear precedents or apparently anything else. On Nov. 23, the duo and their cronies appeared before Circuit Judge Steven L. Selph in Bartow asking for him to strike down the charter amendments.

Ironically, Miami-Dade voters will soon be voting on whether to term limit their commissioners to eight years in office and raise commissioner salaries. But what are voters before the irreplaceable underpaid awesomeness of Bob English?

Stay tuned...

(Pictured: Polk County Commissioner Bob English)


  1. By the way, the citizens are being defended here by the Lakeland Tea Party and 9-12 Project who point to both the 4th DCA decision and, interestingly, allege Sam Killebrew & Co. have no standing.


  2. Bob English gives politicians creeps a bad name. The sad part is that "we the people" are the fools that vote for them.

  3. Perhaps. But all too often, incumbents don't draw seriously challengers -- or they don't draw challengers at all! That's why term limits are so important.

    1. How many challengers do you expect to see when they are spending up to $130k to run for a job that only pays $40k?