City of Houston Term Limits CommissionDraft Minutes for Meeting HeldSaturday, February 27, 201010:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.
Call to Order
Chairman, Ambassador Arthur L. Schechter, called meeting to order at 10:35a.m.Commission Members in Attendance: Chairman, Arthur L. Schechter, Sylvia Brooks,Christina Cabral, Edward J. Cummins, Theodore L. Deaver, Thomas Jones, Jr., ToniLawrence, Dorothy Miller, Anan Qaddumi, Carroll Robinson, Jane West, Ed Wulfe, andSusan Taylor, Assistant City Attorney.2.
Approve of Minutes of Last Meeting (February 10, 2010)
Carroll Robinson moved, and Theodore Deaver seconded approval of the minutesas written. Motion carried unanimously.3.
Presentations on Term Limits by Invited Speakers; Questions by Commissioners
At the close of the comments made be each invited speaker, Chairman Schechter urged them to submit their comments or a summary thereof in writing for inclusion in the written record of the Commission’s proceedings. The followinginvited speakers presented their views and where appropriate the views of their respective organizations on term limits:(a)
, President Montrose/Near Town Super Neighborhood 24 (SN24) and City of Houston Planning Commission Member No. 14 — On behalf of SN 24 Mr. Robinson encouraged the Commission to lengthen the terms thatelected officials serve but stated that SN 24 decided to reserve its decision tomake a specific recommendation until it became clearer what options emerge.Mr. Robinson expressed concern that the city’s current term limits adverselyimpact long term planning efforts. As an example of a long term planning process adversely impacted by term limits, Mr. Robinson cited the need for better tracking of projects included in the city’s Capitol Improvement Plan (CIP).(b)
, Former District D City Council member — Ms. Edwards statedher opinion that term limits of any kind adversely impact the city for multiplereasons, including especially the ability of city elected officials to work effectively with city department heads and with elected officials from other governmental entities (e.g., Harris County, the State of Texas, and the federalgovernment). Ms. Edwards stated that term limits followed the creation of citycouncil districts and that in her opinion term limits were intended to control theeffect of those districts by controlling the process by which district councilmembers are elected. In her opinion term limits require the institutional memoryregarding capitol improvements and other projects to reside in either theemployees of city departments and/or the community. Ms. Edwards stated thatthere should be a law that requires outgoing district council members to preserve\COH TLC Minutes 2-27-10Page 1 of 6