The push for term limits in Arlington has hit a new point of contention. The city council is scrambling to meet a Monday deadline to get its own alternative term limits measure on the ballot, after a judge issued a temporary restraining order on Wednesday blocking their last attempt. But the last-minute maneuvering has critics even more upset.
The city council has called two special meetings for this Sunday and Monday nights to get its own term-limits measure on the November ballot.
It has to be approved by Monday to meet the ballot deadline. So the council is planning to suspend its rules that normally require 72 hours between readings of a measure like this and mandate that at least one of the readings be during a normally-scheduled meeting. Those happen on Tuesdays.
This comes after a judge blocked a measure the council passed this past Tuesday with only one reading and no public comment.
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The council's version limits the mayor and council members to three three-year terms and allows them to serve again after taking three years off.
The original citizen-led measure placed on the ballot through petitions calls for three two year terms, with no chance of serving again.
Organizers of that movement, outraged by the last-minute meetings, handed out flyers on Friday calling for the mayor and council members to resign.
"The mayor is asking for these special privileges, to be able to circumvent these rules that are very important to making sure that citizens are able to be involved in the process, they're able to provide feedback," said Zack Maxwell, lead organizer of the term limits movement. "They're just trying to confuse the ballot. They want to water down what residents asked for."
A city spokesperson issued the following statement on Friday:
“To comply with a temporary restraining order filed in a Tarrant County District Court on Wednesday, the Arlington City Council will hold special meetings this Sunday and Monday to take votes on separate ballot propositions anticipated to go before Arlington voters Nov. 6. The City of Arlington is also preparing its case for an injunction hearing set for August 24.”