It’s not often that the St. Tammany West Chamber of Commerce and the Concerned Citizens of St. Tammany find common cause.
But they are on the same page after the Parish Council refused to put a measure on the ballot that would allow voters to decide whether to implement term limits on council members.
Concerned Citizens, an activist group, has long advocated for term limits across the board in parish and municipal government. And now the chamber has chimed in with a firmly worded letter and resolution sent to the council, urging the members to reconsider that earlier rejection.
“A survey of the chamber’s general membership found that 90 percent agree that term limits should be enacted,” the resolution says. Even more important, it continues, the citizens should have the right to decide the issue.
However, that’s exactly the argument the council rejected in June, when it voted 11-3 not to send a term-limits proposal to the voters.
At the time, Councilman Steve Stefancik, who has been on the council for nearly three decades, said voters have the ability to enact a term limit on members every four years. He dismissed mandatory term limits as a “feel good measure.”
The parish president has a term limit, and so do the councils in many other parishes, the chamber pointed out in its resolution. In fact, St. Tammany is the only one of Louisiana’s six most populous parishes that does not have term limits for its council, the Chamber’s resolution says.
According to its literature, the Chamber represents 1,000 businesses and 30,000 employees.
Follow Faimon A. Roberts III on Twitter, @faimon.