Term Limits Background

In November 2014, over 20,000 Palm Beach Gardens residents went to the polls and 79% of them voted YES to impose term limits of two, three year terms on the City Council. They also voted to make it retroactive on the sitting council members.

Now the current council (none of whom would have their jobs if not for term limits), think that this shouldn't apply to them.

They want to go back to the voters next March with a Charter change that would:

  • Add an additional term of 3 years to the limit
  • Allow those term-limited out to run again
  • Change election requirements from a majority of votes cast to a simple plurality system that will allow gaming the system in favor of incumbents.

This is wrong for many reasons, including:

  • Holding the election in March with no candidates on the ballot will see a minimal turnout. Several hundred voters could overturn the will of 16,000.
  • It took many years, lots of money and much grass roots legwork with petitions and campaigning to win term limits for Palm Beach Gardens. The city fought us at every step and it took a lawsuit to finally get it on the ballot. Why should 5 councilmen, with a wave of the hand, get a re-do to protect their highly paid part time jobs at our expense.
  • Our Term limits is clear about two terms and out. Yet a former councilman who had served many terms ran anyway in 2016, won a slight plurality of the vote and was seated by the Council in violation of the charter. It took a lawsuit and an appeal to the 4th DCA to get that decision thrown out and the rightful candidate (Carl Woods) seated on the Council. The 4th DCA was clear that after two terms, a candidate cannot run again, but this proposal would open the gates for candidates to hold the office as long as they like as long as they sit out a term every 6 years.

The City Council will be discussing this proposal in their November 2 meeting, and voting on December 7. If you agree with us that these changes are wrong, call or email your council persons and show up at these meetings to make your voices heard!

Watch this site for more information as we go forward.

Palm Beach Gardens Term Needs Term Limits