Laguna Hills Term Limits, Measure T (November 2010)
Measure T imposed term limits on members of the Laguna Hills City Council of no more than two consecutive terms in office.
- These final, certified results are from the Orange County elections office.
Text of measure
Since Measure T was approved, this language became an ordinance of Laguna Hills:
| The Municipal Code of the City of Laguna Hills shall be amended by adding section 204.080, to read in its entirety as follows:
2-04.080 Term limits.
(a) No person shall hold office as a member of the City Council for more than two consecutive terms.
(b) If a person serves for at least two years of a term of office as a member of the City Council, that person for purposes of subdivision (a) of this section shall be considered to have served a full four-year term.
(c) If a person is appointed to a vacant office as a member of the City Council for an unexpired term and serves for at least two years, that person for purposes of subdivision (a) of this section shall be considered to have served a full four-year term of office as a member of the City Council.
(d) Any person who has served two consecutive terms of office as a member of the City Council shall not be eligible to hold office again as a member of the City Council until the expiration of at least two years following the conclusion of such person's last term of office as a member of the City Council.
(e) The term limits established by this section shall be applicable prospectively only to all terms of office for members of the City Council commencing with the terms of members of the City Council elected at the November 2010 general municipal election.
The official voter pamphlet arguments for Measure T were signed by:
- Barbara D. Kogerman, Chairman, Laguna Hills Term Limits Committee, Past President, Chamber of Commerce
- Jean K. Bland, Publisher, Laguna Hills Watch Dog
- William A. Enholm, Past President, Nellie Gail Ranch Owners Association
- James Vaughn, Laguna Hills Small Businessman
- Rita Rembold, Past President, Laguna Village Homeowners Association
Arguments in favor
Arguments they made for Measure T include:
- "Nearly 20 years. That's how long the incumbent Council majority has served, and that's too long. It's time for Laguna Hills to adopt City Council term limits. Measure T is specifically designed to renew the political process to ensure the prosperity and health of Laguna Hills. Limiting Council Members to (2) consecutive four-year terms, with no lifetime cap, encourages efficient council turnover, while balancing the need for experienced leadership."
- "Self-serving incumbents insist that only they possess skills to effectively manage Laguna Hills–that term limits let consultants and lobbyists rule. Don't believe their hysteria. 72% of Orange County residents enjoy the benefits of term limits. Now it's Laguna Hills' turn to reap those same rewards."
- "Term limits eliminate ineffective policies and waste. New Council Members wouldn't have compensated our city manager last year over $460,000, including a $60,000 car–for his own personal use–hoping no one would notice. Taxpayers deserve honest transparency and accountability from elected officials!"
- "Encourage citizen participation and communication. Laguna Hills has a 20-year record of shutting out citizen input and oversight, including requests for independent commissions for planning and economic development."
- "Introduce fresh thinking, innovative ideas and rational priorities. Wasteful spending on elaborate city monuments and excessive staff benefits by incumbents came at the expense of the needs of businesses, seniors, youth and pet owners."
- "Increase competition and weaken the hold of special interests who provide incumbents contributions large enough to scare off challengers." * "With term limits, citizens get to determine our leaders and vision while preserving the right to return those who have proven their value.
- "Term limits restore control of government to citizens. Laguna Hills should be governed by Council Members who represent the people, not by 20-year career politicians."
The official voter pamphlet arguments against Measure T were signed by:
- L. Allan Songstad Jr., Councilmember, Laguna Hills
- Joel Lautenschleger, Councilmember, Laguna Hills
- Don Sedgwick, SVUSD Board Member, LH Resident
- Janet Curtis, Retired College Professor, Nellie Gail Ranch Owners Association Past President, Board of Directors
- Frank Manzo, 14 Year Laguna Hills Resident
Arguments they make against Measure T include:
- "Term limits have caused chaos at the state level and less responsive government. Laguna Hills does not need term limits."
- "Laguna Hills’ voters have elected our Councilmembers because they have proven themselves worthy of our trust. Every two years voters evaluate the performance of Councilmembers that stand for re-election and decide if they should remain in office. Establishing artificial limits on Council terms denies voters the right to keep a well performing City Council. Creating lame duck Councilmembers will not promote responsive government. This measure is a campaign ploy promoted by a candidate and special interests who want millions of your tax dollars spent on their favorite projects."
- "Our Councilmembers represent our citizens on important regional agencies. Meaningful participation depends on longevity in office. Adopting term limits could have the unintended consequence of losing our city’s leadership role regionally. Fresh ideas come with active leadership, effective listening and engaged citizens, not artificial changes compelled by term limits."
- "Our City Council has created a lean administrative organization that emphasizes contracting for cost effective city services, rather than a large city bureaucracy. They prudently manage our city’s finances while providing a high level of city services. They repeatedly earn a 95% approval rating from our residents."
The editorial board of the Orange County Register is opposed to Measure T, saying, "Rather than pursue term limits, with such an uneven track record at best, better reforms to pursue would be to reduce government's size, powers and cost."
Path to the ballot
Measure T got on the ballot as an initiated city ordinance.