|(October 20, 2018, 9:45 a.m., updated Oct. 25, 5:28 p.m.) -- In May 2007, then-Mayor Bob Foster and some of LB's then-Councilmembers asked voters to change LB's 1992 petition-initiated term limits law to allow incumbents three terms without facing the grassroots measure's write-in requirement for a third term. LB voters overwhelmingly rejected it, with 68.58% voting "no."
Among those signing the successful ballot argument against the 2007 term limits change was then-retired LB City Auditor Robert Fronke
Roughly eleven years later, and shortly after her election to a fourth term (with no ballot opponent and no term limits), LB's incumbent City Auditor Laura Doud supports Mayor Robert Garcia's effort to convince LB voters to do what voters rejected in 2007: to let the incumbent Mayor and Councilmembers pursue third terms without facing a write-in requirement.
LBREPORT.com opens our Amnesia File to revisit the 2007 arguments made by then-retired City Auditor Fronke (joined at that time by LB Business Journal publisher George Economides and John Gooding of Citizens for Better Long Beach) vs. those offered in support by then-retired Mayor Beverly O'Neill and then-State Senator (now Congressman) Alan Lowenthal.
We invite readers to compare these arguments with those offered now by incumbent Auditor Doud joined by incumbent Mayor Garcia, immediate past Mayor Bob Foster and the heads of LB's police and firefighter unions vs. arguments in opposition by Juan Ovalle, Outreach Director, People of Long Beach; Joe Sopo, President Long Beach Neighborhoods First; Rae Gabelich, Former 8th District Councilmember; Dan Pressburg, Retired Liquidation Specialist; and Corliss G. Lee, President Eastside Voice.
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In a recent mailer, Former Mayor O' Neill voiced her support for the Garcia-Doud Measure BBB.
Mr. Economides' Business Journal opposes Measure BBB, writing in its October 9 edition: "We find the wording misleading and feel it was done intentionally to confuse voters. Years ago, Long Beach voters decided the mayor and city council should be allowed to serve two terms, however a termed-out elected official could seek reelection through the write-in process. A write-in effort is challenging and expensive, as it should be, and has been accomplished only a handful of times. Think of it this way: If you are happy with the work the mayor or your councilmember is doing, and you want to see them remain in office, why eliminate that opportunity? The current system works. You want options, not constraints. The power to decide who represents you is in your hands -- where it should remain. We say NO to BBB."
Mr. Fronke tells LBREPORT.com that he's no longer a Long Beach resident and on that basis declined to offer a position on measure BBB. [update, Oct. 28, 5:28 p.m.] Mr. Gooding tells LBREPORT.com that his views today are consistent with reasoning in 2007; he likes LB's current law as it is, and Mr. Gooding notes that LB voters spoke on the matter in 2007. [end update.]
Although LB voters rejected three-term Measure C over two-to-one, LB voters approved Measure D in 2007, easing the write-in requirement somewhat, requiring an incumbent to survive one write-in (finishing first or second) and if receiving under 50% of votes, proceeding to a runoff with his/her name printed on the ballot. That amendment passed with 63.49% of the vote. It's part of the term limiting law, essentially a hybrid, that LB has today.
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