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Term limits for city council?

Posted Monday, July 26, 2010, at 2:53 PM

What effect do you think it would have on Shelbyville if a member of the city council could serve no more than two consecutive terms and then be required to stay out for at least one term before being allowed to run again?

Would such a move hurt or help? Do you think it would bring in some new people with new ideas?

Showing comments in chronological order
[Show most recent comments first]

I think term limits should be a requirement for all offices including the federal government. It would eliminate a lot of the corruption and stagnate politics that occur when officials remain in office for a long period of time and would also require them to get more done in a quicker amount of time. I definitely think it would be a great idea for Congress.

-- Posted by jaxspike on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 3:00 PM

I would agree with term limits, certainly for National offices but local as well.

While there is a lot to say for experience, sometimes we get too comfortable in those positions.

We may also get too tired but not know when to quit.

-- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 6:19 PM

To be fair,would you be willing to agree to limits on the length of time a person in the press could remain in a job (position)?

-- Posted by LarLMoore on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 6:33 PM

I agree that there should be terms limits - in all governing bodies. I hardly see where a reporter sets the laws or makes the decisions that increase our taxes.

-- Posted by ILoveRoses on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 7:43 PM

I think here should be limits on COMPENSATION and increases in income that are obtained while in office or immediately after.

It never made sense to me why a politician would pay thousands, even millions, to get a job that pays a fraction of what it cost to get elected. Campaign finance reform, perks, and deals have to be the real reason. Take away those, and the term limits will take care of themselves.

Placing term limits on them will just increase the urgency of making the most they can of the short time they have. A public servants should be just that, a servant. If they didn't have the heart for it, they wouldn't seek re-election.

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Mon, Jul 26, 2010, at 8:46 PM

When you come to income, I think their annual salary is reasonable. To work for anything less would require the person be independently wealthy and you face the issue of the wealthy making rules over the common man.

I do think they should have the same insurance that all government workers have so they are not insulated from their actions. To decrease the tendency to make deals for when they "retire" maybe we could do something like unemployment benefits. One year full salary, then one year half pay.

Retirement? They should not be in office long enough to make a career of it, so no retirement, just our sincere thanks for taking XX number of years out of their life to serve. They make enough contacts that if they want to develop them into an income one year later, fine.

Just some rambling thoughts before work begins.

-- Posted by stevemills on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 7:13 AM

I actually don't see the point in setting term limits. Just in my opinion, if you think about it, the terms are set by us.

If a person is doing a decent enough job in any elected office and the people see fit to vote them back into office, so be it. If the people are truly disappointed in that persons performance, well they should vote for someone else.

It's not like they have a free pass for as many terms as they want. They are all voted into their respective positions.

The real problem is getting people to vote.

-- Posted by SirJim on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 10:45 AM

SirJim is right. The people already have that power to limit their terms except for appointed judges.

That ends this blog!

One other thing is that anyone running for any office should at least know what the U.S. and Tennessee Constitutions are and why they are VERY IMPORTANT to everyone.

I know it would be impossible for them to understand them, but at least protect them for us who do understand what they say and mean.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 11:42 AM

Term limits....ABSOLUTELY!! On ALL elected and appointed government officials. Keep em fresh!

-- Posted by Tim Lokey on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 12:14 PM

This seems like a move to take the power from the people.

The voters should retain the power to determine when a councilman should be put out of office.

We have one great councilman that has stood up for the people time and time again often against much opposition.

If this were passed by other council menbers it would seem like a convenient way to put him out of office.

-- Posted by flying solo on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 5:55 PM

I know this doesn't have anything to do with the City Council members. I don't live in the city so I don't know much about them.

I got this in an email but it sounds like a good idea.

Proposed 28th Amendment to the United States Constitution "Congress shall make no law that applies to the citizens of the United States that does not apply equally to the Senators and/or Representatives; and, Congress shall make no law that applies to the Senators and/or Representatives that does not apply equally to the citizens of the United States ."

-- Posted by Liveforlight on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 6:38 PM

Actually, term limits are a good idea.

Sometimes new blood doesn't run because incumbents have a way of becoming embedded in the offices they hold. Maybe they know more people or maybe they haven't annoyed too many peopleto the point that the voter chooses name recognition over substance. Sometimes it's just time for a chance and IMO Shelbyville needs one. It clearly needs younger, more progressive blood.

-- Posted by gottago on Tue, Jul 27, 2010, at 10:12 PM


Actually, the proposed 28th Amendment is already a standing law.

People for some strange reason, think that Congress is the Sovereignty in this country.

They are not! The U.S. Constitution says "We the People" are the sovereignty, not the Government nor Congress.

When Lincoln freed the slaves Congress had to draw up the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery. These newly freed slave had no citizenship so Congress got the brainy idea to make them Citizens of the United States (Central Government) and at the same time give the people of the islands and territories a United States citizenship. This lead to the 14th Amendment where Congress created a whole new class of citizens who would be under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Untied States (Central Government). This would give Congress Sovereignty over these new citizens, but not tell "We the People" that these U.S. citizens did not have the same Constitutional rights as the people born in the 50 states.

These new citizens (federal citizens) are under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Central Government, so congress can make any laws they want to to govern these new citizens. (Read 14th Amendment)

However, when legislating for We the People of the 50 states, congress must legislate according to the law of the land (can not violate the peoples constitutional rights when making laws).

So now, we can see that Congress devised a way to become the sovereignty over these federal citizens. They just didn't tell anyone this secret, so everyone assumes that Congress and the United States Government has unlimited power over the people.

The United States Government only has power over the people as listed in Article I Section 8.

Congress has power (Article I) that the people gave them in the constitution, plus they also have the power to make any laws in order to govern and control these new federal citizens (Article I, Section 8, Clause 17).

Other than that, Congress has no other power over the people, and the people can take back any powers it gave to Congress, the Federal Government and State Governments.

Now if Congress can make any laws it deems necessary to govern these federal citizens, then the proposed 28th Amendment would not be applicable to Congress concerning these federal citizens.

The Supreme Court has ruled that the Sovereignty is exempt from the law because it is the author and source of the law. This means Congress is exempt from the laws it makes that would apply to the federal citizens.

We the people are the sovereignty, so we would be exempt from the law because we are the author and source of the law, even though congress writes it up and votes them into law.

Congress has Sovereignty over all federal citizens and some powers over the people of the states, as described in Article I. But other than that, we the people are the Sovereignty over Congress and the government and the States.

Where the BIG PROBLEM comes in, is if we elect all new people, how many of them will understand what I have just explained to you. Thinking they ARE the Sovereignty could go to their head and become worse than what we have in office now!


1. Powers of people

That all power is inherent in the people, and all free governments are founded on their authority, and instituted for their peace, safety, and happiness; for the advancement of those ends they have at all times, an unalienable and indefeasible right to alter, reform, or abolish the government in such manner as they may think proper.

And last but not least, Senators and Representatives have a job that requires special attention and restraint so they should have laws restricting their actions which have nothing to do with U.S. Citizens, but any laws that apply to the people applies to congress as well. However, laws they make that apply to federal citizens wouldn't apply to the congress and we the people, but could apply to State legislators if they are federal citizens/federal employees.

In truth, the proposed 28th Amendment would be constitutional to some and unconstitutional when applied to others. Therefore you won't ever see that Amendment in the U.S. Constitution because it violates the rights of the people!

This is a serious Crime!


If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same;...

They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 1:35 AM


Section 242 of Title 18 makes it a crime for a person acting under color of any law to willfully deprive a person of a right or privilege protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States.

For the purpose of Section 242, acts under "color of law" include acts not only done by federal, state, or local officials within their lawful authority, but also acts done beyond the bounds of that official's lawful authority, if the acts are done while the official is purporting to or pretending to act in the performance of his/her official duties.

Persons acting under color of law within the meaning of this statute include police officers, prisons guards and other law enforcement officials, as well as judges, care providers in public health facilities, and others who are acting as public officials.

It is not necessary that the crime be motivated by animus toward the race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin of the victim.

The offense is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.


Section 242 deals with the "color of law". The color of law are laws created to govern federal citizens and don't really apply to people who were born in any of the several 50 states.

For example; We have the inalienable right to travel without government interference without having to purchase a drivers license.

The color of law says Federal citizens must purchase a drivers license to have the "Privilege" of driving in America. Same holds true with hunting licenses, fishing licenses and marriage licenses, car registrations, and even boat registrations. These are all "color of law" laws. Any law that is inconsistent with or contrary to the U.S. Constitution is an unlawful "color of law".

The color of law is forced on people everyday by Government Employees, Officials and Civil Service workers. If they were all charged with "DEPRIVATION OF RIGHTS UNDER COLOR OF LAW" there would be less government employees and Political Officials to corrupt the system.

Section 242 applies to "anyone" who deprives any person of any rights, privileges, or immunities secured or protected by the Constitution or laws of the United States. (This penalty doesn't require a two or more conspiracy).

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Wed, Jul 28, 2010, at 7:45 PM

i think that all elected officials should be replaced by draftees, chosen from the population at random and forced to serve for one term.

term limits would no longer matter.

-- Posted by lazarus on Thu, Jul 29, 2010, at 10:27 AM

The Tennessee State Constitution pretty much controls the terms and conditions, elections and appointments of Political Officers and officials of the State, Counties and Cities (incorporated and unincorporated).

Changing the Tennessee State Constitution is almost as impossible as changing the U.S. Constitution!

Looks like you may have to leave well enough alone or take back some powers the people gave to the State, to satisfy your ideas and wants.

Not impossible to do, but it would take years before the legislature could get all the details right.

Oops! Did I say "the legislature could get all the details right"? Sorry! They can't even obey what has already been written.

-- Posted by Unique-Lies on Thu, Jul 29, 2010, at 1:39 PM

Try living by the constitution only. You will be slapped silly with fines and jail.

-- Posted by cherokee2 on Sun, Aug 1, 2010, at 10:14 AM

Yes term limits are a must. Come on and give the people of the USA credit that the country would run just fine with regular new blood and no lifers in the seats. I am not so sure that the person in office once should ever be re-elected.

-- Posted by powerboy1 on Sun, Aug 1, 2010, at 3:16 PM

YEs it would help keep others honest here in Shelbyville we need term limits some on city council thank they have all the say and everyone schould follow there lead i dont see any of them

there now worthy of the job.

I also belive that the city mangers job schould be for eight years then voted on job performs

stay or go.

and we schould have the right to vote on all things when it comes to spending on big tickett items cars,trucks, firengines and who gets pay raise's.

-- Posted by airforce one on Tue, Feb 8, 2011, at 10:37 PM

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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette. He passed away November 15, 2014, at age 81.
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