About the Petition for Term Limits in Grapevine

Grapevine TexasA few weeks ago, we opened the GTO mailbox to find a press release announcing a petition for term limits in Grapevine city government. Part of the press release is as follows:

The petition language asks registered Grapevine voters:

Should the Grapevine City Charter be Amended to State:

Each person duly elected to the position of Mayor or Council Member shall be allowed to hold any one position for a limit of three (3) consecutive, full three-year terms per position. This provision shall apply to all elections held subsequent to the adoption of this Charter Amendment.

You can find more information on the petition at www.bettergrapevine.org or you can read more in this great article over at the Fort Worth Star Telegram on the issue.

The bottom line is the idea has merit. And here is why:

The city needs a way to encourage new ideas and thoughts around the direction of the city. In the article linked above, Mayor William D. Tate is quoted as saying, “”What is sinister about longevity? What is wrong about experience?”

We’d respond with two more questions, “What is wrong with new ideas? What is wrong with fresh perspectives?”

The short answer to all of the above questions is “nothing.”

Just a thought:  If you are elected city council for a three year term, but then run for re-election every three years for the next 20 to 30 or more years you might be stifling creativity somewhere.  Sure you have experience which is wonderful, but great organizations are not measured by experience alone.

We are not sure if nine years is the right number or even if term limits are the solution, but there has to be a way to keep every elected council member from assuming these are several decade long appointments. There has to be a way to find a happy medium between fresh ideas and experience. Too much of one or the other lacks balance and the City of Grapevine is not as great as it could be without a balance there.

We know a lot of people will disagree with these thoughts.  After all, there are a lot of people content (or at least apathetic) with the status quo. That is part of the reason why incumbents have not lost an election in Grapevine in 20-plus years.

This article is not meant to imply that the current City Council is not doing a good job. We think they do a pretty good job.

But why settle for pretty good? Why not be great?