Palm Beach County Commission to workshop extending their terms

Despite the public voting overwhelmingly in 2002 to term limit county commissioners, this Tuesday, the issue will be “workshopped” to get commissioners another four-year term.

The workshop includes adding four years so that each commissioner can serve twelve consecutive years.

Commissioners can only serve two consecutive terms for eight years currently.

The commissioners can’t just change the law, but they can vote to put it on the ballot as a charter amendment with gobbledygook language designed to confuse the voters, so they get their way.

This plot has been brewing for a while. The commission voted to have staff study the issue in November of 2021.

The staff knows what the commissioners want to hear.

The arguments for and against are laughable, and it’s clear the arguments against are half-hearted and meant to be ignored.

Read the full workshop summary here:

You couldn’t find a bookie, at any odds, who’d be willing to take your bet that county commissioners won’t vote to put extending their terms on the ballot.

One or two might oppose it, but from what I know about the rest of them, get ready to rumble on this as fast as possible.

An elected county-wide mayor without a vote and more commission seats are also mentioned, which is a dangerous sign, but my gut instinct is telling me that’s being used as political cover. So some commissioners can say, “I stopped most of it, but there was no way out of extending our terms.” 

Anything can come out of these workshops.

Self-interest, handcuffs, and the Palm Beach County Commission

For example, a bitter ex-county commissioner is working behind the scenes to raise our taxes by getting bond referendums on the ballot for affordable housing and environmental issues.

Bonds are just deferred taxes, and the bill will need to be paid eventually.

I’m not a real estate analyst, but the last time everyone in the political class was this concerned about affordable housing was right before the crash of 2008.

The market creates housing prices, not the county commission.

They could lower the cost of housing by lowering impact fees for developers if they wanted to, but they won’t.

Environmental bonds tend to be a boondoggle with a lot of money wasted and fortunes spent on public relations and “green consultants.”

The public needs to pay attention to what’s going on here.

The wallet you save will be your own.

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