Editor’s note: Editing errors by The Advocate in Jack B. McGuire’s Oct. 30 letter left its meaning unclear in a couple of passages.
Here’s the correct version:
As a member and chairman of the Mandeville Municipal Employees Civil Service Board, I urge voters to approve Charter Amendment 4 that places the city human resources director under civil service. It is a basic principle of the merit system of public employment that a civil service system director should be under civil service as well. Our human resources director is under civil service for the Police Civil Service System but not for the Municipal Employees System because they were established at different times. This is a “housekeeping” amendment that puts the director under civil service for both systems, which is the way it should be.
As a former councilman-at-large, serving 1984-2000, I urge approval of Amendments 1 and 2, which simply bring the charter up to date. There is nothing controversial in them.
I urge defeat of Amendment 3, which would extend the term limits of the current council for the seats to which they were elected. I have always opposed term limits because I believe the ballot box is the best way to limit terms of elected officials. When our term limits were adopted, council members who were vocal in support of them left the door open for additional terms for themselves by placing a two-term limit only on the seats to which they were elected. As a result, councilmen can serve two terms from a district, then serve two terms at-large, and vice versa. While I was opposed to these “musical chairs,” in practice, they have not worked as intended, as in the past instances in which councilmen sought to switch seats, they have been defeated. While the current councilmen, in supporting this amendment, say that it limits their terms by eliminating “musical chairs,” the fact is that it does not limit their existing terms but instead extends them. It is ironic that councilmen who say they are “term limits guys” have put on the ballot an amendment to allow themselves third terms. This subterfuge should be rejected.
Finally, the city of Mandeville proposition that rededicates our 1-cent sales tax is not a new or additional tax; it merely extends the existing levy and allows half of the revenue that can now be used only for public works to be used for general fund purposes as well. This will give city government more flexibility in allocating resources, and it deserves passage.
Jack B. McGuire