Colleyville, Texas Editorial by Nelson Thibodeaux, Editor LNO
A favorite quote of mine is former Democrat Speaker Tip O’Neill ‘s most famous; “All Politics are Local.” Which raises the question if the confidence in Congress is at an all time low, why do we keep sending the same local career politicians back to Washington, or in fact to local city councils; where they have become entrenched and out of touch?
At the recent Colleyville City Council meeting, where a 6 to 1 vote accepted the recommendation of the Citizens Charter Committee to include Term Limits in the November General Election. The ONE vote Against you may ask? Why perpetual local politician and pundit, Councilman Mike Taylor. Many feel, on a local level, Taylor should be the Poster Boy for Term Limits.
After the facts of the 2015 City Council election, in which Taylor was elected by a slim margin over newcomer Bobby Lindamood, many expressed their desire to have a “do over vote,” after the election was tainted by personal allegations against Taylor’s opponent.
The following election, however, when verified information was released concerning Taylor and a Judicial candidate, the voters spoke clearly, in the May 2016 election Taylor’s 2015 opponent was elected defeating Chuck Mogged with a winning margin of more than 62% in a huge turnout.
Taylor stated at the recent council meeting, “I didn’t like the outcome but the voters spoke.”
Taylor prefaced his vote against the Citizen Charter Recommendations by saying he has told his “supporters,” that he did not intend to run for office again regardless of the outcome of the citizen’s vote.” Everyone that knows Taylor raise your hand, if you believe that statement is of fact….seeing no hands we will move on to the next subject.
The November vote is not about Taylor, that is unless the voters would like a do over, because the term limit approval would mean in fact that Taylor would have to lay out, after 2018, for at least one full term before he could run for council again and at least one year before he could run for Mayor (his long term itch he wants to scratch). This would likely be a run against Mayor Newton, where he previously finished third in a 3 man race that involved Newton.
Taylor argued that the ultimate term limit is that elections are held where change can be made. However, this is the battle cry of entrenched incumbents. There is always a disadvantage for a newcomer to run against an incumbent. At the local level as well as the national level, there is name recognition and manipulations available to the incumbent not available to the challenger. The only way a level playing field can be established at ANY level is Term Limits!
Colleyville has an educated populace, with many leaders in our community that could serve and provide diversity and leadership on city council. If a local politico is so special the public wants that person back in office, then he/she can run again, after waiting out a term and for the most part being on equal footing with an opponent.
Also recommended by the Charter Committee was an expanded financial disclosure process that includes Planning and Zoning Commissioners and well as members of the Zoning Board of Adjustment. Expanding the effort for full disclosure, the City Manager as well as those answering directly to her will be required to make full financial disclosures.
Without the changes in the May 2016 City Election these advancements would likely have never been offered for voters to consider. Imagine the newly elected majority of Mayor Newton, Councilman Lindamood, Councilperson Nakamura, as well as Mayor Pro Tem Chris Putnam, and Councilperson Coplen all voting for both Term Limits and to allow the voters of Colleyville the opportunity to make that ultimate decision.
The newly elected council has shown significant progress in fulfilling promises of transparency, more citizen input and most of all the willingness to practice what they preach!
The 2016 elected members ALL voted for term limits of which will be initiated immediately and will,in turn,impact them. Now that is a sign of change at the top in Colleyville Government!
“Term limits would cure both senility and seniority– both terrible legislative diseases.” Harry S. Truman