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HB 2721 gives voters in small towns a voice

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I am proud to have worked with a number of concerned citizens in Carefree and have Rep. Jay Lawrence sponsor House Bill 2721 that would allow voters the right to set or revoke term limits for local elected officials.

While term limits are enforceable regarding our state legislators and other elected officials in charter cities, that is not the case for smaller towns like Carefree, Paradise Valley and Cave Creek, just to name a few. While it is perfectly legal to enact a local law for term limits in any Arizona town through a voter initiative, it’s not enforceable because the state has no statute that addresses it – it’s just quiet on the matter.

Thus, an elected official can use the courts to violate and disregard the will of voters in their own communities and ignore the term limits that were enacted legally and by a public vote. HB 2721 would change that and give citizens the “enforceability” behind their right to enact term limits in their own communities should they elect to do so.

HB 2721 does not force any municipality to enact term limits. It even allows voters the option to revoke term limits if they wish. In short, good governance is a reflection of the majority will of the electorate and HB 2721 would allow that by taking it out of the hands of elected officials and putting it back in the hands of the voters – where it belongs. Our bill has already passed the Arizona House of Representatives by a super majority of 50-10.

This bill is more about voter rights and good governance than term limits, and allows small Arizona towns the same protection of voters’ rights as big cities. I urge you to contact your state senator and express your support of this very important legislation that allows the people’s voice to be heard over the will of entrenched elected officials.

Michael E. Farrar, Carefree

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