The League of Women Voters of Larimer County recommends a NO vote on Larimer County Ballot Question 1B – removal of term limits for the elected positions of County Sheriff, Assessor, Treasurer, Clerk & Recorder, and Surveyor.
In their rush (one week) to put this issue on the ballot, County Commissioners ignored fundamental good governance principles of transparency and citizen participation. As a result, citizens have been deprived of open discussions with Commissioners to find out what has changed in the County that makes it so urgent that voters remove the existing three-term limit not just for the Sheriff, but also for Assessor, Treasurer, Surveyor, and Clerk & Recorder.
In written comments to LWV in support of Ballot Question 1B, the County said that term limits are a good thing for those elected officials in policy positions but those with specialized skills should be treated differently. On the October 12th LWV-produced CrossCurrents televised program “The Debate Over Removal of Term Limits” Commissioner Donnelly asserted that the Sheriff and the other four elected officials do not make policy decisions so they should not be subject to term limits. Later in the program, though, he acknowledged that the Sheriff does in fact make policy decisions. We encourage voters to view the video to better inform themselves on the term limits issue.
The citizens of Colorado decided in 1994 that term limits were a very good thing when, by initiative, they brought a term limit amendment to the Colorado Constitution. It was a good idea then. It’s a good idea now. The Larimer County Commissioners have provided no substantive reasons why voters should in one fell swoop and without prior notice or open public discussions remove term limits for the elected offices of County Sheriff, Assessor, Treasurer, Clerk & Recorder, and Surveyor. This is a serious issue and deserves serious discussion and understanding. It is for these reasons that the League recommends that citizens vote NO on Larimer County Ballot Question 1B.