The Jackson County Charter Review Task Force issued its report Monday and recommended against imposing term limits on elected county officials.
The task force, chaired by Dianne Cleaver, tied up loose ends left by the previous charter review effort in 2010.
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The group held its organizational meeting June 19 and focused on three key issues: whether term limits should be set for the county executive, sheriff, prosecutor and nine county legislators; whether limits should be placed on campaign contributions to candidates for county office; and whether the process to file for county office should be changed.
The group took public comment at sparsely attended meetings and was divided on the term limits question. In the end, it recommended no restrictions on how long an elected official can serve.
The committee’s vote on term limits earlier this month was 4-3, with one abstention. Those voting for term limits were Bud Hertzog, Buford Farrington and Becky Nace. Those voting against were Cleaver, Bruce VanCompernolle, Paul Rojas and Dana Altierri. Gayle Holliday abstained and James Nunnelly was absent.
The group also recommended no campaign contribution limits. State law precludes such limits anyway.
While the task force saw no need to change existing law on filing for county offices, it did suggest that the county develop procedures to make sure everyone has equal access to the courthouse on the first day of filing. In the past, some people have criticized the process as unfair because incumbents had easier access into the building and could get on the ballot ahead of challengers.
Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders said the group’s report will be submitted to the county legislature on Aug. 6, and he hopes the recommendations will be accepted as is. Sanders also said there should be a way to make the filing process more fair without amending the charter.