A Proposal For Term Limits in Delaware

Posted: 11/06/2009 by that's Elbert in Delaware

There are a number of reasons why I support term limits. First, it forces a change in leadership periodically, thus bringing fresh blood to the legislative bodies. It creates a large pool of leaders needed in any party, if that party wishes to easily find candidates to run for the many elected positions in the state, counties, cities, and towns.

There are some negatives to term limits. It may not eliminate the career politician, as it wouldn’t restrict those that wished to run for another office after their term in their current position expires. It may also force out those elected officials who do a good job, but in balance it would force out those that aren’t doing the job well.

Here is a proposal I have for term limits for state offices. There are some compromises built in that may make it appealing to a larger audience.

Across the board there would be a limit of three consecutive terms for every elected office, excluding the governor which would remain at the current two term limit. Partial terms brought about by special elections would not be a factor in the term limit count.

After serving in an office for three terms the candidate would be restricted from running for that office for one term, a “cooling off” period. After the cooling off period is satisfied, the candidate could again run for that office, being subject again to the three term limit. There would be no restriction on the candidate to run for any other office in the state during the cooling off period.

Once the term limit legislation was passed and signed into law, it would come into effect ten years after it became law. Any elected official serving at that time would have their term limit count set to “0”, giving the sitting candidate three terms to serve their district or state.

Most of us that support term limits would like to see them happen now. This proposal brings it to pass but requires some wait time. Of course it doesn’t mean that term limits can’t be applied at the polls, voting out those that have served for maybe too long.

  1. HOWARD says:

    Good plan Elbert – I support the ideal

  2. chrisslavens says:

    How many cycles of terms and cooling off periods would the candidate be allowed to complete?

  3. I hadn’t thought about limiting the cycle of terms. My main thought is that the limits & one-term restriction allow the pot to be stirred at least every few years. I couldn’t see someone going through that cycle too many times. Either they will move on to a different office or just quit. I could see someone serving, sitting out, elected to serve again, sit out, elected to serve again, then calling it quits. This is assuming that the person is returned to the same office after the break period.

  4. Frank Calio says:

    Interesting comment on term limits; however when you mention three terms, how many years are those terms? Currenty a U.S. Senator’s term is 6 years, times three terms is 18 years. In DE a state senate term is 4 years times three terms is 12 years. Both are too long to serve.
    I can not accept a ‘cooling off period’. When the former incumbent ‘comes back’ he knows which lobbyists to ‘cuddle up with’ and we’re back to square one. Might as well allow the current system to exist.

  5. Frank, Sorry I wasn’t clear. When I wrote “Delaware” I wasn’t counting in our federal offices. They probably should be handled separate.

    I think that the likelihood of a former incumbent getting back into the office after the “cooling off period” is reduced.