Prince George’s Groups Taking Sides Over Extending Term Limits

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Prince George’s County community groups have started taking sides over a referendum that will be placed on the ballot for this November election.  The referendum, which was approved by the County Council in July, would extend term limits for the county executive and council from two terms to three.

As reported by the Gazette:

William Missouri of Mitchellville co-chaired the seven-member Prince George’s County Charter Review Commission, which recommended the term limit increase.

Missouri, a retired Prince George’s County Circuit Court judge, said having two-term limits may keep good candidates who’ve worked outside government from running, as it requires 10 years in government to be fully vested in the retirement plan.

Missouri said the turnover also created a lack of institutional knowledge and experience.

Others disagree with this rationale.

Shabnam Ahmed, former school board student member and political activist, is working to create a movement around election reform in Prince George’s County, and has taken up the term limit issue.

…Ahmed said that many officials are elected by only single digit percentages of the total number of registered voters in the county, given that most voters in Prince George’s are Democrats, and county’s closed party primaries tend to decide elections.

I felt as though, after looking at the statistics, that the total percentage of voters electing officials was very low, and that this small group of voters held more power in the county than the majority,” Ahmed said. “Extending term limits would just keep these same people in office.”

Additional coverage can be found on Conduit Street.