In milestone, West Hollywood approves term limits for City Council
West Hollywood voters on Tuesday approved a ballot measure establishing term limits for City Council members.
All but one of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council have spent more than a decade in office. With all 11 precincts reporting, Measure C, establishing term limits, was passed with 2,690 votes in favor and 1,653 votes opposed, according to unofficial results released by the city.
Measure C will limit council members to three four-year terms. The term limit, however, would not be retroactive, city officials said. Each existing council member will be allowed three additional four-year terms after the measure's adoption.
"Measure C ensures that West Hollywood has a mechanism in place to bring fresh perspectives and new energy to the council," said Lauren Meister, a West Hollywood resident who helped spearhead a campaign that gathered more than 3,000 signatures and put the measure on the municipal election ballot.
"It opens the door to broader public participation in the legislative process in our city, which benefits everyone," Meister said in a statement.
Incumbents have lost an election only twice in the city's history, city officials said.
Previous attempts at term limits were rejected. In 1997, voters balked at a measure that would have limited council members to two consecutive terms.
Voters on Tuesday also reelected two incumbent councilmen, John Duran and Mayor Jeffrey Prang, who were running. Seven others competed for those seats.
Several council members were vocal about their opposition to the measure but voted during a November council meeting to put it on the ballot.
"I am not supportive of term limits -- I have always been very upfront about that -- but the signatures were collected, and it deserves to go to the people," Councilwoman Abbe Land said during that meeting.
Additional ballots will be counted at West Hollywood City Hall in the coming days, city officials said. Those ballots will be counted in the city's final, official election results.
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-- Hailey Branson-Potts