Maryland Legislative News – Action Alert – County Council in league with the Mont Co Delegation to undermine Term Limits


Direct your emails to these House Ways and Means committee members:

We wanted to bring to your attention HB 348 and hope that you will oppose it.

The House Ways and Means Committee will be holding a hearing on HB 348 on Thursday February 16, 2017.  This legislation —  introduced by the Montgomery County Delegation —  seeks “to amend the Maryland State Constitution authorizing the County Council of Montgomery County to enact legislation to stagger the terms of office for the members of the county council; providing that some members of the county council may be elected at the presidential general election and some members may be elected at the gubernatorial general election and submitting the amendments to voters of the state for their adoption or rejection..””

On November 8, 2016, 70% of the voters, both Democrats and Republicans in Montgomery County, voted in favor of term limits (3 terms or 12 years)-  (Question B) for Montgomery County Council members, and the County Executive.    This term limits charter amendment won with 70% of the votes in favor.

The term limits charter amendment affects at least 4 of the 9 County Council Members (two at least who have been in office since 2002), who are not eligible to run again.  The County Executive would also be ineligible, but is not seeking another term.

The issue of term limits was borne out of the ongoing frustration by Montgomery County voters that the County Council as well as the County Executive continued to ignore the voters on many important issues, including a recent property tax increase of 8.9 percent.

The people of Montgomery County have spoken and HB 348 ignores and tries to circumvent the will of the voters by seeking an unnecessary change to the Maryland State Constitution.  Article XVII, Section  1 of the Maryland State Constitution provides: (T)he purpose of this Article is to reduce the number of elections by providing that all state and county elections shall be held only in every fourth year…”

Until term limits passed in November, the Montgomery County Delegation did not seem to think staggered terms were necessary.    Now, all of a sudden, HB 348 has been introduced and if enacted, and approved by the voters of the state, would necessitate more hearings for Montgomery County to enact a bill to stagger the elections and amend it’s charter.  Why should there be a special carve out for Montgomery County?  And, why now?

The larger issue is ignoring the will of the people.  Please support those of us in Montgomery County who voted for term limits by opposing HB 348.

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