Escondido voters may decide term limits for council and mayor

Escondido voters could weigh in this fall if the mayor and council are to be forced by term restrictions and if changes need to be made to the city’s elected treasurer position, including a possible cut in the cashier’s salary.

The council instructed staff at Wednesday’s meeting to draft a voting measure that would ask voters whether future mayors and council members should be limited to two and three four-year terms, respectively, starting with the November 2022 election. , there is no limit to how many terms Escondido’s elected officials can serve.

Council member Mike Morasco set the term limit and the city treasurer’s items on Wednesday’s council agenda, citing a poll of city dwellers conducted last fall that showed 68 percent support a two-term limit for members of the council. council and 55 percent said the cashier position should be eliminated.

In arguing for the limitations of the mandate, Morasco quoted members of Congress who have been in office “decades after decades and decades. Personally, philosophically, I do not care which side you are on, I think that was not the intention of our ancestors. In general “I do not think we need to have people in office for so long to become separate institutions.”

“I would like to see that we have limitations for a variety of reasons, I like to see new blood, new blood, other ideas, other individuals who have the opportunity, to learn, to grow, to have a greater contribution and to say more about what is happening. in the city of Escondido “, said Morasco.

Morasco said that at the end of his current term, he will have served 14 years on the council.

Council member Consuelo Martinez said she is not against mandate restrictions, but asked why the topic was added to the city’s latest poll as her constituents did not raise the issue.

“The person who brought this up is also the longest-serving member of the council. “It’s just weird,” Martinez said.

“I’m not closed to the idea, but I think we can stop this,” Martinez said, especially as the city is considering two other voting measures for November, one over a sales tax increase and the other over the cashier. of the city. position. A city staff report said putting the term limit question in front of voters would cost between $ 48,000 and $ 78,000.

Mayor Paul McNamara said the city should continue with the deadline limit measure this November because of the strong support shown in the poll.

“As a council, we have said we wanted the community to contribute to everything we have ever done and we have it; that poll is quite clear, the community wants mandate restrictions, “McNamara said.

According to staff reports, such as Escondido, the cities of Carlsbad, Del Mar, El Cajon, Encinitas, Imperial Beach, Lemon Grove, Poway, Solana Beach and Vista have no term limits for council members. The cities of Santee, Chula Vista, Coronado, San Diego, La Mesa, National City, San Marcos and Oceanside, along with San Diego County, have short-term restrictions.

After their discussion, the council instructed staff to draft a possible voting measure – which should be submitted to the county Voter Registrar by August 12 – requesting three four-year terms for the council and two four-year terms for the office. chairman, which means that an individual can serve a maximum of 20 years in both offices.

Morasco also initiated a discussion about the position of the city treasurer and whether he should remain as an elected office. The city’s current treasurer, Douglas Shultz, has served in this position since 2016 and won a new four-year term without any opposition in 2020.

A staff report said the treasurer is responsible for receiving all money raised by the city for deposit or investment, disbursing funds as approved by the city council, and working with the council to select an annual auditor for an independent review. of city finances.

Shultz currently receives a salary of $ 105,997 per year and oversees a staff of two employees. Current city rules place the cashier’s salary at “not less than half the highest salary paid to a department head in addition to the city manager,” a city staff report said.

The report also said there are five cities in San Diego County that have selected cashiers, including Escondido, and the average salary for the position is $ 12,840.

At Wednesday’s meeting, the council instructed city manager Sean McGlynn to bring in a proposal to transfer the selected cashier’s duties to staff under McGlynn’s supervision. Any change in office would require voter approval.

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Escondido voters may decide term limits for council and mayor Source link Escondido voters may decide term limits for council and mayor

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