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Published: Sunday, 10/22/2006

Blade Endorsement: For council term limits

Voters in the city of Toledo have the opportunity to clarify, once and for all, the issue of term limits for City Council.

We recommend a vote FOR ISSUE 19 on the Nov. 7 ballot, a city charter amendment that would set a flat limit of 12 consecutive years for both at-large and district council members.

To serve longer, a member with 12 years' service would have to sit out at least one year.

The charter currently specifies a maximum of three four-year terms. But the city law director issued a misguided opinion in 2005 that allowed Bob McCloskey and Betty Shultz to breach that limit as at-large members because they previously had been elected to district seats.

That was before McCloskey resigned in May, shortly before he pleaded guilty to bribery involving a council vote and was sentenced to federal prison. Ms. Shultz now is in the midst of her fourth term.

We believe that three four-year terms and out is what Toledoans had in mind when they approved the charter provision in 1992, and this straightforward amendment will clear up any doubt.

Voters should have no qualms about voting FOR Issue 19.

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