Arlington residents torn over possibility of term limits on city council members

Residents in Arlington are split over the possible ballot measure that would impose term limits on members of the city council.

Some members of Arlington’s city council have been in office nearly 20 years and supporters of the measure say that’s too long. They gathered 11,000 signatures to force the issue onto the November ballot.

“We are proposing a six-year permanent term limit,” supporter Zack Maxwell said. “Six years and you're gone. [You] can also serve 6 years as mayor so theoretically you can be on the council a total of 12 years."

But their opponents are worried that term limits could hurt the city’s growth. Arlington has recently gained new developments like the Rangers’ new ballpark and the neighboring Texas Live! and the opponents of the measure credit that to continuity on the city council.

They’re organizing a group to oppose those in favor of the limits, but that won’t be announced until next week.

If voters approve the measure in November, the city charter would be amended to limit the mayor and council to three two-year terms.

“This is not personal to individual people on the council,” supporter Pat Connolly said. “[We are] not talking about their personalities. [We are] talking about giving citizens an opportunity to have their say in the matter.”

The city says it has sent the petition to the Tarrant County Elections Office to be verified. The office has 30 days to verify the signatures on the petition. If it does, the issue will go on the November ballot.

The Arlington city council is on its July break and won’t meet again until August.

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