Thursday, October 11, 2012

MIAMI HERALD: Vote YES on county term limits!

The Miami Herald this week urged Miami-Dade residents to make their home the 12th of Florida's 20 home rule counties to embrace county commission term limits.

Under the headline, "Term Limits Should get the Nod," the Herald editorial board notes that of the seven charter amendments Miami-Dade citizens will be considering in November, the first -- eight-year county commisison term limits -- is the "most important."

They are right.

Nearly all of the large counties in the state -- including Orange, Hillsborough, Broward, Palm Beach Duval and Pinellas -- have taken this step.  While a good reform in any county, it is most important in the larger ones where special interests are larger, more powerful and more entrenched.

Term limits help ensure more competitive elections, offer greater citizen participation, bring real-world experience to the commission, spread power more equally across the single-member districts, sever the cozy relationships between special interests and incumbents, increases transparency, reduces corruption and increases the pool of those with an intimate knowledge of local government.

In other words, term limits bring government closer to the people.

Voters have turned down term limits before, because the commissioners linked them to other serve-serving measures and term limits reformers urged voters to reject the crooked package deals. But this time, the charter amendment calls for two 4-year terms and then county commissioners are not eligible to run again. That's all.

No tricks. No small print. You know what to do.
d more here:


  1. I emailed the Editorial Board at Miami Herald with these comments:

    Dear Editors,

    I'm a congressional candidate in Florida's new 21st District. Just wanted to make a brief comment about your editorial:

    "Miami-Dade County voters will have seven charter amendments to consider. The first one is the most important: term limits. It sets two consecutive terms of four years for county commissioners to serve.

    Miami-Dade’s home-rule charter is essentially the “constitution” for the county, granting certain powers of governance to the mayor and commissioners. Since 1957, when the charter was adopted, voters have been asked at least 13 times to raise the salaries of commissioners, but they have resisted.

    • This year, a majority of commissioners approved (and a charter task force recommended) that term limits be put on the ballot without tying the limits to a raise. Good thinking. Voters will be more willing to raise commissioners’ woefully inadequate 1950s-era, part-time salary of $6,000 a year in the future if they have a guarantee of term limits. Vote Yes."

    I think any discussion about term limits misses the boat when there is any multiple term at all. My proposal for an ADEQUATE SINGLE TERM LIMIT achieves a full divorcing of sitting officials from campaign activities. If the four year term for Miami commissioners is not adequate, extend it to 6 (or 8) years, and limit to the single adequate term.

    There are so many benefits of this concept to the voters (and the voters should constitute the only consideration in the debate). In this country we don't elect a president to a 4 year term; we elect a president to a 2 year term, and a subsequent 2 year campaign for re-election. Nobody can seriously argue that the re-election campaign doesn't start at least 2 years prior to the election, and neither can anybody seriously argue that time spent campaigning by incumbents is at a cost to the voters.

    Regarding 'woefully inadequate .. salaries' -- my proposed ACT OF PARITY addresses a made to order formula for calculating appropriate salaries for elected officials: Tie their salaries to the average salaries of the people in their constituent districts.

    For more information, please consult my campaign website at, or contact me for an interview.

    Thanks for the opportunity to address my thoughts.

    I was unable to access the comments feature on the editorial page. I'd like to request that your staff add them, if at all possible.

    Thanks again for your consideration,

    Mike Trout
    Progressive Independent Candidate
    Florida's New 21st Congressional District

  2. I plan on shorting stocks.Why do idiots say Florida has no income tax?If I made $20 million trading stocks in Florida, are you saying the government wouldn't tax me?Of course they would!