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Wilson revives term limit proposal

By Jebb Johnston

jjohnston@dailycorinthian.com

Corinth's Ward 1 alderman is resurrecting the discussion of term limits for appointees who make decisions affecting entities such as the school district, the hospital and public utilities.

Alongside the proposal to term limit boards and commissions, he also wants to add the elected positions of mayor and alderman to the discussion.

"If you can't get your agenda across in eight years, you need to let somebody else bring some new ideas to the table," said Chris Wilson, who took office about six months ago.

Wilson has requested both proposals be on the agenda for next week's regular meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.

In February, the board passed Wilson's term limits proposal for boards and commissions but undid the action just a few days later in response to negative feedback. Wilson believes the discussion in that special meeting early on a Friday morning, when the board heard from several individuals who said experience is important, was incomplete.

"I didn't feel like people that think term limits are a good idea had their voice heard," he said.

Wilson is doing everything he can to make sure they know about Tuesday's meeting.

He is proposing that mayor and aldermen be limited to two terms. Police chief is not included. Those currently on the board would be able to serve two terms through 2026.

After the two terms, he said they could run for any other public office. After being off for a term, they could run for the same post again.

The alderman does not agree with the argument that elected officials are subject to term limits every time the citizenry goes to the polls.

"Elections and term limits are two separate things," said Wilson. "Term limits guarantees change. Elections don't."

The city board makes appointments to 11 boards and commissions. Most of them have five-year terms, and he proposes those be limited to two terms. The tourism board has four-year appointments, and those would also be limited to two terms. The preservation commission has three-year terms, and those would be limited to three terms.

After reaching a term limit, an individual would then be eligible for appointment to another board.

Wilson said he brought the issue up for boards and commissions because he has been approached by a number of individuals who are willing to serve.

"I'm trying to get more people to get a chance to serve," he said. "Putting the same people on the same boards, elected or appointed, year after year — it's not going to bring change and help Corinth grow, in my opinion."

The board will meet at 5 p.m. on Tuesday.