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Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Term Limits for County Council

November 14, 2016

Last week, Montgomery County voters approved term limits for the Montgomery County Executive and Councilmembers by a two-to-one margin.

   The ballot referendum which was pushed by Montgomery County resident and often Council candidate Robin Ficker was approved by a 69.9 percent of the voters.

   The Term Limits Question which was Question B on last Tuesday’s Ballot asked residents if the County should amend sections 105 and 202 of the County Charter to “limit the County Executive and members of the County Council to three consecutive terms in office.” That portion of the question will limit future Councilmembers and County Executives to three terms.

   The second portion of that question called for the “County Executive and any member of the County Council who will have served three or more consecutive terms on December 3, 2018, cannot serve another successive term in the same office and --provide that service of a term includes complete service of a full term and partial service of a full term.”

   The overwhelming passage of this question, with 335,655 Montgomery County voters voting for amending the County Charter, to just 37,616 voting against, means that five of the current nine members of the County Council are not eligible to return to the same spots on County Council when their terms are up.

   Of course, the passage of the Term Limits question would mean that County Executive Ike Leggett could also not seek re-election. However, Leggett announced last month that he would not be seeking re-election.

   While every seat on the County Council is up for election every year, for residents of Germantown, Clarksburg, and the UpCounty, the passage of the Term Limits means that next year, voters will elect at least three new members to the County Council in the 2017 election for terms that will begin in 2018. Currently, three At-Large members of the Council are in at least their third term as Councilmembers; they are George Leventhal, Nancy Floreen, and Marc Elrich.

   The passage of the measure will also mean that Councilmember Roger Berliner, who is the Council Representative from District 1.

   Also, on the ballot last Tuesday was Question C which prevents a Council Member which took over a Council seat and served more than two years of the four-year term that term would count as a full-term. Question C passed by an overwhelming 78.7 percent, 284,896 for, to 77,006 against.

   Passage of that question specifically means that current District 4 Representative Nancy Navarro is not allowed to run for re-election. Navarro won election after Councilmember Don Praisner died while in office in January 2009. Later that year, Navarro was elected to her first term, albeit a partial term on the County Council. She was elect again in 2010 and won a third term in 2014.

   In all, after the passage of the Term Limits Questions, there will be at least five new members of the Montgomery County Council and a new County Executive taking office in January of 2018. Of Course, Germantown/Clarksburg area District 2 Representative Craig Rice, along with District 5 Representative Tom Hucker, District 3 Representative Sidney Katz, and At-Large Council Member Hans Reimer are all expected to be seeking re-election.

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