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CRC Proposal To Limit School Board Member Terms Moves Forward

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Term limits for a policy-making body would bring in fresh blood, say supporters of a proposal to cap school board members’ terms at eight years. The proposal is moving forward in the Constitution Revision Commission.

Commissioner Erika Donalds serves on the Collier County school board, but wants voters to have the choice to say no to board members who stick around too long.

“Term limits provide fresh faces and new idea to elected office,” Donalds said. “They reduce the special interest influence and make room for the citizen legislator, as was the intent of our founding fathers.”

Under Donalds’ proposal, board members would be capped at eight years, or two four-year terms.

Several commissioners say bringing in too much fresh blood, too often would eliminate valuable seniority on a board. Commissioner Arthenia Joyner, an attorney from Tampa, insists term limits empower lobbyists who would have more institutional knowledge than newcomers to the board.

Donalds’ proposal received an overwhelming majority vote, sending it to the CRC style and drafting committee.