September 23, 2014

Standish voters to have say on term limits

Posted

STANDISH — The city council of Standish approved a motion June 16 that would place the elimination of term limits on the November ballot, giving voters the opportunity to decide if the limits should remain.

Members of the city council in Standish are currently limited to two four-year terms, and a mayor can serve for four two-year terms. Term limits were approved by city voters approximately 20 years ago.

Mayor Mark Winslow said term limits have caused headaches in the past when council members could not seek re-election due to the limits and no candidates filed to fill the open seat.

“When you get somebody who likes and wants to be on council — then you’ve got a vacancy and it’s not easy to fill,” he said.

“In my opinion, there’s no place in local government for term limits,” Winslow said. “Not at this level.”

City Clerk Peggy Burtch said before the measure can be placed on the ballot, state approval would be needed.

“Once you approve this resolution, we have to send it to the attorney general’s office for approval, and the governor’s office for approval,” she said.

Councilman Dan Couveau asked if there would be a cost to place the proposal on the ballot. Burtch said because the city voted to change to even-year elections early this year, there would be no additional cost.

“There will not be a cost to put it on the ballot,” she said. “Since we moved out elections to even-year elections there is no cost because we’ll be having an election anyways.”

In other city news, the city council ratified a three-year contract with its eight Teamsters Union employees June 16.

Bill Borushko, of Employment Relations Advisers, negotiated on behalf of the city. He told the council the employees had ratified the contract and recommended the council do the same.

According to Borushko, the contract calls for a 45-cent wage increase on July 1 this year and the next two years. A lump sum payment of $400 will also be paid out on that date, he said.

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