San Diego County Supervisor Term Limits, Measure B (June 2010)
Under Measure B, members of the San Diego Board of Supervisors are limited to serving two four-year terms. The limits on terms will not be retroactive. This means that current supervisors can continue to run for re-election and hold seats on the Board of Supervisors, as long as they wish to and as long as voters keep re-electing them.
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors was a 5-member board in 2010. All of the members of the board were Republicans at the time of the Measure B approval. There had been no new members on the board in 15 years.
Current members of the board include Bill Horn, Ron Roberts, Dianne Jacob, Pam Slater-Price and Greg Cox. Horn and Roberts will be able to serve on the board for eight more years if the term limits measure passes. Jacob, Slater-Price and Cox will be able to serve for 10 more years.
- These final, certified results are from the Sand Diego County elections office.
Sharon-Frances Moore, the president of SEIU Local 221, said, "We need new leaders with new ideas to improve the quality of life in San Diego County -- leaders who are not focused on their own issues and benefits."
Other arguments made on behalf of Measure B included:
- "This will simply level the playing field and allow more qualified candidates to enter the race and engage in a healthy policy debate, something that's missing now."
- "This is aimed more at ensuring periodic vacancies to generate the kind of real discussion about county policy and direction that has been absent in recent years."
San Diego Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Dianne Jacob is opposed to term limits for county supervisors. She said, "Term limits reflect the philosophy that voters are too stupid to decide for themselves when to turn an under-performing official out of office. The hapless and ineffective California Legislature is a prime example of the terrible consequences of term limits."
San Diego County's Chief Administrative Officer Walt Ekard sent an email to about 1,250 recipients attacking the term limits measure. He wrote, "Term limits is a fools errand that only helps perpetuate inexperience, mediocrity and special interest control. … Let’s do things the old-fashioned way and just trust the voters to decide whom they want to represent them." Public employees are not allowed to use public resources to support or oppose ballot measures and, as a result, Ekard has been criticized for sending the missive. He, however, told a local newspaper he believes he did nothing wrong.
The editorial board of the North County Times opposed Measure B, saying, "Term limits are not the panacea for discomfort with representatives. California's experience is daily proof of that. If anything, by forcing turnover this way, governments deliberately discard institutional memory and expertise. Is the Legislature any better for it? We doubt it. Additionally, term limits generally mean staffers (read that as non-elected employees) and career government employees become more influential ---- and we are not convinced that is healthy, either."
Arguments made against Measure B included:
- "We see it as an unnecessary and unjust attempt by the union to get its foot in the door of the Board of the Supervisors. Take them or leave them, the current board has done a good job, and there is just no need to impose this sort of thing."
- "The best approach is to look at the performance of those in office and make a decision based on that."
Text of measure
The question on the ballot:
|Shall the San Diego County Charter be amended to impose a limit of two terms for persons serving on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors?|
County term limits
- See also: Term limits in California
Six counties in California limit the terms of county supervisors:
• In Los Angeles, Santa Clara and San Mateo, supervisors are limited to three four-year terms.
• In Orange, San Francisco and San Joaquin, supervisors are limited to two four-year terms.
Path to the ballot
Supporters turned in 118% of the 77,837 signatures required to qualify a county-wide measure for the ballot.
Election officials certified that sufficient signatures had been turned in. As a result, the Board of Supervisors had two choices:
- Authorize placement of the term limits proposal on the June 8, 2010 ballot.
- Order the development of an "impact report" on the measure, which would be due in early February, and make a decision after that.
- List of local ballot propositions on the June 8 ballot in San Diego County
- Full text of Proposition B
- Election results
- San Diego 6, "Group seeks term limits for county supervisors", July 14, 2009
- East County Magazine, "Term limits for supervisors initiative qualifies for June 2010 ballot", December 16, 2009
- San Diego Union Tribune, "Battle for term limits has twist", May 9, 2010
- San Diego Union Tribune, "Political one-two punch badly misses its mark", December 14, 2009
- North County Times, "Registrar certifies supervisor term-limits petition", December 15, 2009
- North County Times, "Two terms said enough for county supervisors", April 25, 2010
- San Diego Union Tribune, "Top county official’s email causes stir", January 30, 2010
- North County Times, "Vote 'no' on supervisors' term limits", April 27, 2010
- Smart Voter San Diego County elections archive
- North County Times, "Slater-Price to lead supervisors in 2010", January 7, 2010