By Mary O’KEEFE
Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich’s proposal to extend term limits for the board of supervisors will not be on the ballot this November.
Antonovich’s proposed amendment would change the term limits from supervisors serving up to three four-year terms to five terms. Ten years ago, L.A. County voters imposed the three-year term limits on the board that took effect in 2002.
Antonovich and Supervisor Don Knabe voted yes to extending the limits; Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky voted no and supervisors Mark Ridley-Thomas and Gloria Molina abstained.
“Term limits have been a wrecking ball in Sacramento,” said Tony Bell, Antonovich spokesman.
He added that L.A. County is solvent and continues to provide municipal services, feeling that the term limits in Sacramento have limited the work of the elected officials.
Supervisor Antonovich’s district covers 22 cities and 70 unincorporated areas. Since his election to the board in 1980, he has made it his goal to have each area, including the unincorporated County area, to have a representative council. Like Crescenta Valley Town Council, the local areas then meet with Antonovich or feel they can call upon him when needed.
“Supervisor Antonovich and his local Pasadena field office are our main point of contact for the entire County of Los Angeles and its services and they show total support for the local town council as the liaison between the residents and the board of supervisors,” said CV Town Council President Cheryl Davis. “Issues have ranged from broken street lights, traffic and safety issues, working with local utilities and First Responders and creating a Community Standards District to building a new county library or the first L.A. County owned and maintained dog park.
“Each step of the way, the Supervisor’s office communicates with us frequently, attends our meetings as needed or requested, and has walked us through many projects and issues.”
Bell agreed this type of familiarity is something that develops over time.
“We are not saying that people must re-elect their supervisors. It is still their choice,” he said.
If a supervisor was doing a good job, he or she would be re-elected – if they are not, they wouldn’t be.
Bell added that even with term limits incumbents are vulnerable, if they are not doing the job the voters expect them to be doing.
“Speaking as an individual and not a member of town council, I am deeply concerned that many of the supervisors are about to term out. I believe it takes many years to know how the county and its many departments work,” said Davis. “With recent budget cuts, it only makes it harder for the county to serve its residents and the upcoming changes as required by term limits will only make that task more difficult.”