Foster City Rollback of Term Limits, Measure W (November 2009)

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A Foster City Rollback of Term Limits, Measure W ballot question was on the November 3, 2009 ballot for voters in Foster City in San Mateo County, where it was decisevly defeated.

Foster City limits the terms of the members of the Foster City Council to two consecutive four-year terms (eight years in a row). This limit was adopted in 1996. If Measure W had been approved, the limit would have been changed so that members of the city council could serve for three consecutive four-year terms (twelve years in a row).

Election results

Measure W
ResultVotesPercentage
Defeatedd No2,69265.7%
Yes 1,406 34.3%
These final, certified, results are from the San Mateo County elections office.

Support

The official ballot argument in favor of allowing city council members to serve on the city council for twelve years in a row was signed by:

  • John Kiramis, Mayor
  • Rick Wykoff, Vice Mayor
  • Pam Frisella, member of the Foster City Council
  • Art Kiesel, member of the Foster City Council
  • Linda Koelling, member of the Foster City Council

They said, "Term limits were put in place due to voter resentment towards career politicians. We are beginning to see the effects of term limits as they have played a role on the State level relative to the recent budget debacle. At the local level, interested individuals are eager and dedicated to serve their community. The potential of serving up to three full terms (12 years) allows councilmembers to fulfill their goals in representing their city. In a small city like ours, councilmembers are our neighbors and we have easy accessibility to voice our opinions. The power of our vote should determine whether a public servant serves 1, 2 or 3 terms. When the voters have deemed councilmembers were not doing the job of the people, they were not re-elected. The potential to having a longer term in office allows the councilmember to follow long-term projects as they affect the community. Two terms or eight years in succession is not often long enough to see these projects through. With the political climate on the state level being in disarray, it is important that the local level of government remain stable."

Path to the ballot

The members of the Foster City Council voted in May 2009 to place Measure W before the city's voters.

Ballot question

The question on the ballot:

Measure U: "Shall an ordinance of the People increasing the number of terms a Member of the City Council may serve from two full terms (8 years) in succession to three full terms (12 years) in succession be approved?"[1]

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