City of Barberton Term Limits

When running for Barberton City Council Ward 1 in 2019, I voiced my support for term limits regarding elected positions here in the City of Barberton. The idea was well perceived and I can only assume since I was elected by the electors, most supported the idea as well.

In 2020, I presented the Charter Review Commission with an idea of term limits, and my proposal was rejected faster than yellow tomatoes in a red tomato world (I just watched “How It’s Made”)! The idea was suggested to be retaliation to the current Mayor when in fact the legislation would have given the current Mayor three more allowable terms (12 more years). The idea of term limits scares only those that plan to make a career in politics and those that that have forgotten the foundation of our nation.

Nothing should be denied to go in front of the voters. I tried to go the route suggested by the Administration. Now, it is time that we make our voices heard.

Justin Greer – Barberton City Council

This year, there will be a collective effort to put an issue on the ballot for the Barberton Residents to have a say. We will need help gathering signatures so if you have some time, please reach out to [email protected] I would love to have you by our side ensuring the residents get a say.

Here is a copy of the exact language given to the Charter Review Commission which was denied.

“Dear Charter Review Members,

My name is Justin Greer, and I am the elected Councilman for Ward 1 in the City of Barberton. My term started on Jan 1, 2020, and will expire on December 31, 2023.

I would like for the Charter Review Commission to take into consideration adding language to the Barberton City Charter regarding “Term Limits” for local elected positions. The City of Barberton currently does not have term limits. Along with my constituents, I believe that Term Limits for elected officials would ensure the City of Barberton moves in a progressive and positive direction.

To help explain the request of my constituents, I have provided language that I propose we add to the Barberton City Charter. This language is subject to legal review.

— Start of Language
Commencing with the term of January 1, 2024, no elected official, except the Finance Director and Law Director, shall serve more than 3 consecutive four-year terms years in the same elected office. An elected person disqualified from holding public office due to the aforementioned term limits shall become eligible to hold the same public office upon the expiration of two years.
—- End of Language

The language provides any given elected official 12 consecutive years in any given elected position. This language would affect the following elected positions:

  • All City Council Positions
  • Mayor Position

Term Limits would NOT apply to the Finance Director or Law Director. 

After much discussion with my constituents, the Finance Director and Law Director should be excluded from term limits. These two positions should attract professional individuals with experience in the services they provide. A stable career should be offered to our City’s legal and financial representation which bears no direct legislative or executive representation of the citizens.

While term limits guarantee the progression of leadership, popular or unpopular, it does not suggest that future leaders will be popular or unpopular. What term limits ensure is an opportunity, new vision, and continuous growth of leadership moving forward.

Some have countered the idea of term limits in the City of Barberton with the argument that voting is the foundation for removing unpopular individuals. While I agree with this specific and very targeted response for an individual, the purpose of term limits is to ensure fresh ideas and creating harmony with public opinion as a whole. 

I ask that the Charter Review Commission review “Term Limits” and allow the residents of the City of Barberton to have their voices heard by voting on this matter in November 2020.

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

Regards,
Councilman Justin Greer Ward 1 and Citizens”

  1. Bernie Irwin says:

    What about short term and the pension. Will they still be eligible

    • Hi Bernie,
      I am not sure what you mean by short term but the pensions would still be possible. Since OPERS follows anyone in government no matter the position, pensions would not be affected. I would argue that if our leaders are in this for a pension, they should be fired! Elected officials are there for community service and pensions were never intended for politicians until they wrote them into law. Career politicians need to go!

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