Karen Billing, Del Mar Times, April 28:
There are bad ideas: deciding to paint your house purple, vacationing in Nebraska, taking stock advice from your brother-in-law. There are pretty bad ideas: driving without wearing your seat belt, insulting a Hell’s Angel to his face, eating the spoiled food from the back of the fridge. And then there are Very Bad Ideas. The Very Bad Idea we will be considering today comes from a San Dieguito Union High School District trustee, John Salazar, and its name is Term Limits.
Term Limits has been a popular topic in the United States since the 1980s, usually proposed by self-described “populists” who want to return government to “the people”. Whether or not it has been initiated in good faith, the result everywhere it has been tried has been disastrous for “the people”. Term Limits removes expertise and institutional memory from governmental bodies just when it can be of use, leaving instead neophyte or dilettante office-holders with no knowledge or experience of the job they have been asked to do.
The most charitable interpretation of a Term Limits proposal is that it is a genuine attempt to include more people in leadership. A more cynical interpretation is that Term Limits is an attempt to force turnover in an elected body that cannot be achieved by honest campaigning. An even more suspicious interpretation is that Term Limits is a deliberate attempt to hamstring an elected body and prevent it from doing its work effectively, thus demonstrating the correctness of a core belief that government does not and cannot work.
I leave it up to you to reach your own interpretation. My conclusion is that Term Limits is a Very Bad Idea.