At the end of 2010 I wrote Council President Noble requesting term limits for key positions in the City of Kingston, specifically the Mayor, Alderman At Large, and the Aldermen. I asked that this come before the Laws & Rules Committee in hopes of opening a dialog to explore if it is right for Kingston. It’s funny how the most vocal critics of the subject are longtime politicians or insiders (aka Good ‘Ol Boys).
From my observation it wouldn’t hurt. My intention is to spark the debate and bring it out there for the people we represent so they can have a say through a public hearing. If the members of the Laws & Rules Committee agree we will then have a public hearing, after which the full Council will vote on. If it does not pass through the Committee we will continue along with the status quo. There are indeed merits and draw backs, but we have to ask, is our system broken? After a certain period of time do politicians lose touch and eventually focus on what will get them re-elected instead of tackling tough and uncomfortable issues and contract negotiations? I have witnessed some of our seasoned Council members playing video games on their cell phones during Committee meetings, obviously not interested in the issues at hand. Have they been there for too long?
There is the argument that having too many new and inexperienced members could cause problems. Really? If you review 2010, many of the new and fresh ideas came from the new members of the Council. From where I sit I see the City of Kingston in need of a new perspective. The roots run deep in a small city and old habits can be very hard to break.