LETTER: Term limits: Good or bad?
Thursday, September 26, 2013 10:48 AM
I have some thoughts on term limits for the Planning Commission and the zoning administrators.
I served on the Black Hammer Town Board and the Houston County Planning Commission for 28 years. I asked to not be reappointed to the Planning Commission. I suggested an excellent replacement, Dan Griffin, and he was appointed.
Committee members are appointed by the county commissioners - possibly having served on the town board or having successful business experience. It is important to have representation from all areas of the county.
It is a learning experience and it takes time to learn the basics of the zoning ordinances. The people who served with me I think did an excellent job of serving the people of Houston County.
During that time, a number of contentious issues came before the Planning Commission and were challenged in the courts. The decisions of the Planning Commission and the county commissioners prevailed.
Wiping the slate clean of the planning commissioners and the zoning administrator might be like an auto and pickup dealer letting go his service manager and mechanics with many years of experience and hiring all new people with no hands-on experience. I think very soon it would be a very chaotic situation.
Term limits may or may not be a good idea. We need fair-minded and well experienced planning commission members and zoning administrators in order to serve the best interests of the people of Houston County.
I do not think the position of zoning administrator should have term limits. This is a very critical position and needs as much experience and continuity as possible.
While no one is perfect, I think our zoning administrators have done a good job under a lot of stress.
If term limits are imposed, I would favor three three-year terms. It takes a while to learn the process.
Those who have served the county many years through a sense of civic duty should be commended and not dishonored.