Commentary - Two Terms Works – Why Measure U Is Bad Policy

by Placerville Newswire / Nov 05, 2018 / comments

[Dan Dellinger]
Our current County Charter requires County supervisors to leave the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors after serving two consecutive four-year terms totaling eight years.  We adopted this good and wise reform in 1994.  Unlike the lifetime ban in California’s State Office term limits, our County Charter allows termed-out County supervisors to seek re-election after a four-year time out period.  If passed, Measure U will change our current reform of eight years on and four years off to twelve years on and four years off the Board.
Measure U is a giant step backwards into an era when our County was run by career politicians who felt entitled to lifetime jobs with lavish PERS retirements.  Our eight-year limit is working.  This reform works because it forces politicians to live under the consequences of their eight years of laws and policies for at least four years before seeking their old job.  Extending term limits from eight to twelve years weakens this important benefit.
Measure U will add to our County’s growing public pension debt by increasing PERS retirement benefits paid most retired County supervisors from a lower eight-year rate to a higher twelve-year payout.
Under current limits, two County supervisors have been re-elected after observing time out periods.  So current policy doesn’t restrict choices where voters especially like a particular County supervisor.  
 In increasing El Dorado County political fashion, Measure U was placed on the Ballot by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors THREE WEEKS AFTER THE DEADLINE initially set by the El Dorado County Elections Office to submit November ballot measures giving opponents little time to organize.
Measure U is bad policy intended to benefit two supervisors terming out in 2020.    
So I ask, since our current term limit reform is working, should we extend term limits to our elected department heads after we vote down Measure U?  

Dan Dellinger is a former candidate for Recorder-Clerk who works as a government relations and political consultant based in El Dorado County.  Dan earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Agricultural Economics and Business Management from the University of California – Davis. Dan can be reached at