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Smart Voter
San Diego County, CA June 8, 2010 Election
Proposition B
Proposed Term Limits Amendment
County of San Diego

Charter Amendment - Majority Approval Required

Pass: 336,416 / 68.3% Yes votes ...... 156,374 / 31.7% No votes

See Also: Index of all Propositions

Information shown below: Yes/No Meaning | Impartial Analysis | Arguments | Full Text

Shall the San Diego County Charter be amended to impose a limit of two terms for persons serving on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors?

Meaning of Voting Yes/No
A YES vote on this measure means:
A "Yes" vote is a vote in favor of adopting the proposed County Charter amendment, which would impose a two term limit on persons serving as County Supervisor on the County Board of Supervisors, after the effective date of this amendment.

A NO vote on this measure means:
A "No" vote is a vote against the adoption of this proposed County Charter amendment.

Impartial Analysis from County Council
This is a citizens' initiative measure that qualified for placement on the ballot based upon a sufficient number of registered voters signing a petition proposing this ballot measure. This initiative measure, if approved by the voters, would amend the San Diego County Charter.

The proposed County Charter amendment would add a new section 401.5, entitled "Term Limits," which would require that no person may serve for more than two terms as a County Supervisor on the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, after the effective date of this amendment. Each term of office for an elected County Supervisor is four years. Therefore, if approved, this proposed Charter amendment would limit elected County Supervisors to a maximum total of eight years on the County Board of Supervisors.

Currently, persons serving as County Supervisors on the County Board of Supervisors are not limited in the number of terms they may serve. The proposed Charter amendment would change this situation because, if approved by the voters, the amendment would impose the two term limit on elected members of the Board of Supervisors. In addition, the two term limit would be a lifetime limit and would provide that a person is deemed to have served a full term if that person serves more than one-half of a four-year term as County Supervisor, regardless of whether the person was elected or appointed to fill a vacancy in office.

If the proposed County Charter amendment is approved by the voters, it will apply prospectively only to the terms of office commencing after the effective date of the amendment. This means that a person elected as County Supervisor, who commences serving a four-year term of office after this amendment becomes effective, would be limited to serving two terms of office as a County Supervisor. The current incumbents serving as County Supervisor would not have the number of terms they already have served count towards the two term limit. Rather, if this proposed Charter amendment is approved, any incumbent County Supervisor who is elected to another term of office, and commences his/her new term of office after the date this amendment becomes effective, would only be able to serve two more terms of office, if elected to both terms.

All registered voters in the entire geographic region of the County, including all cities located within the County and the unincorporated area of the County, are eligible to vote on this proposed initiative measure. This proposed County Charter amendment will be adopted if a majority of the voters who cast votes on this measure vote in favor of the amendment.

  Official Information

County of San Diego Website
News and Analysis

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San Diego Union-Tribune North County Times Del Mar Times
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Arguments For Proposition B Arguments Against Proposition B
When politicians are unresponsive. When they raise so much money that a challenger doesn't stand a chance. When they get so comfortable in their position that they start treating our money like it's theirs. Then it's time for Term Limits.

Our County Supervisors have all been there too long. It's time for Term Limits to apply to them.

San Diego's Mayor has Term Limits. So does the City Council. And our Legislators. The Governor. The President.

It's time our Supervisors live under the same system that the other state and local officials lives under.

The County Supervisors are all supposed to be fiscal conservatives. But because they are so secure in their jobs, they've forgotten that the money they spend is our money. For the last 10 years, these long-term Supervisors have operated what the newspapers have called a "$100 million slush fund" yet San Diego is one of the largest counties without a countywide fire department.

They use that fund ($2 million for each Supervisor every year) to give out taxpayer money to their favorite people, organizations, or causes. Each Supervisor's funding request is approved without question or challenge yet we don't have a countywide fire department.

It's no surprise that abuse happens. In one case, the newspapers caught them giving money to a group that turned around and treated them to an expensive junket. In another case, they got caught giving the money to a group that hired one of their daughters yet we don't have a countywide fire department.

100,000 San Diegans, from all walks of life, Republicans, Independents and Democrats have signed the legal paperwork to put Term Limits for the Supervisors on the ballot. We invite you to join us in voting Yes on Term Limits for the County Supervisors.

Fire Fighter
Public Health Nurse

Rebuttal to Arguments For
Voters already have the power to limit terms by voting out elected officials who don't do their jobs. Proposition B takes away your right to vote for the best person.


ACCOUNTABLE GOVERNMENT. Contrary to claims by public labor unions promoting Proposition B, the Board of Supervisors has cut discretionary spending in half, created the San Diego County Regional Fire Authority, and brought in new aerial firefighting equipment. Supervisors have to be accountable to voters for their decisions precisely because there are no term limits. Proposition B would take power away from YOU and give it to un-elected lifelong bureaucrats and special interest groups that put their interests before YOURS.

BIG LABOR POWER PLAY. Public labor unions spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on signature-gatherers to put Proposition B on the ballot. The promoters of Proposition B are public labor unions more interested in upcoming contract negotiations than in the future of our county.

WRONG MEASURE, WRONG TIME. Proposition B doesn't apply to all County officials or committee appointees, just the Board of Supervisors. It would limit terms for Supervisors, but doesn't place any restriction on bureaucrats and other County elected officials. Despite the current economic crisis, the County still maintains healthy reserves and the highest possible credit rating. Proposition B could unravel the stable leadership, threaten the services we now enjoy, and lead to higher taxes.

President & CEO
San Diego County Taxpayers Association
Past President
Rancho Penasquitos Town Council
Adjunct Professor of Law
Thomas Jefferson School of Law
President & CEO
San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce

While the state and other local governments continue to suffer from mismanagement, the County of San Diego is consistently recognized as one of the best-run local governments in the United States. San Diego County now has the highest credit ratings possible, no deferred maintenance, and healthy reserves. Term limits would lead to instability and could jeopardize the services you enjoy.


FOLLOW THE MONEY. Self-interested public labor unions spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to qualify Proposition B for the ballot. Public labor unions are using Proposition B to replace the County's stable leadership with people who will increase salaries and pension benefits for public labor union members at the expense of taxpayers.

TERM LIMITS HAVE BEEN A DISASTER IN SACRAMENTO. The revolving door of elected officials in California creates inexperienced leaders . . . no bipartisanship . . . opportunistic politicians that use one office purely as a "stepping stone" for another . . . poor constituent representation . . . and an attitude that puts politics ahead of problem-solving. This has lead to some of the worst budget deficits in the history of California, and may eventually bankrupt the state and many of its cities.

Don't transplant Sacramento's dysfunction to the County of San Diego.

Proposition B is OPPOSED by the San Diego County Taxpayers Association.

PROTECT TAXPAYERS. Voters already have the power to limit terms by voting out Supervisors if they're not doing their jobs. Proposition B, illogically and ill-advisedly, takes the power to re-elect effective Supervisors away from voters and requires that Supervisors be replaced, regardless of how well they are doing. The result: un-elected bureaucrats will run the show in the County!

Don't Limit Your Choices - Vote NO on Term limits - Vote NO on Proposition B

Sheriff, Ret. - San Diego County
President/CEO of San Diego
North Economic Development Council
BGen. USMCR (Ret.)
Navy Cross Recipient

Rebuttal to Arguments Against

If San Diego is the best-run local government in the United States . . . Why are we a county without a fire department after two major devastating wildfires?


Why did the San Diego Union-Tribune urge the Supervisors to "reflect on the utter inappropriateness of the board doling out more than $100 million in taxpayer-provided slush funds . . . " (September 15, 2009)


If term limits are a public labor union plot, then why did a grassroots movement of 100,000 Republicans, Democrats, and Independents put it on the ballot? Maybe county workers got mad after the Union-Tribune wrote about "the outrageousness of the slush funds surviving the budget ax that has felled so many much more worthy county projects and programs the past year because of plunging revenue due to the deep recession."


If term limits are so bad, then why do voters time and time again support them? Why is the major resistance to Proposition B coming from those aligned with the incumbent Supervisors? Is it to protect their own interests? Remember, the Supervisors "slush fund" gives taxpayer money to their buddies and their groups.

Term limits work. We have term limits for the Mayor, the City Council, the Governor, and the President. Why should the Board of Supervisors be any different?

It's time for term limits. Vote "Yes" on Proposition B.

Fire Fighter
Public Health Nurse

Full Text of Proposition B

The Charter of the County of San Diego would be amended by adding the following sections.


The people of the County of San Diego hereby ordain and enact as follows:
This charter amendment shall be known as the County Board of Supervisors Term Limits Charter Amendment.
A. The same politicians have run San Diego County for years, but they have failed to address the pressing issues facing our County + issues like inadequate health care, ever-increasing traffic, and fire protection.
B. These career politicians have become so entrenched that they are routinely re-elected, even though they've lost touch with the people of San Diego County. Indeed, no incumbent supervisor in San Diego County has lost a re-election bid in more than two decades.
C. We need new leaders in San Diego County + leaders with new ideas to improve the quality of life in our County and leaders who are not captive to the special interests.
D. The hold that the career politicians have on the levers of power makes it difficult for qualified challengers to compete for office, much less succeed in being elected to the Board of Supervisors.
E. We need reasonable limits on the terms that a person can serve to end the reign of career politicians and to promote the opportunity for new leaders to serve the best interests of our community, not the special interests.
In enacting this charter amendment, it is the purpose and intent of the people of the County of San Diego County to:
A. Encourage qualified candidates to seek public office by placing reasonable limitations upon the number of terms which may be served by members of the Board of Supervisors in their lifetimes.
B. Ensure that the public interest is served rather than the special interests by promoting fresh leadership to address the pressing problems facing San Diego County.
The Charter of the County of San Diego is hereby amended to add Section 401.5 to Article IV, as follows:
Section 401.5: Term Limits.
(a) No person may serve for more than two terms as a Supervisor, regardless of district represented, after the effective date of this section.
(b) Any person who is elected or appointed to an unexpired term as a Supervisor after the effective date of this section and who serves more than one-half of a full term of office shall be deemed, for purposes of this section, to have served a full term.
(c) Any Supervisor who resigns or is removed from office with less than one-half of a full term remaining until the expiration of the term shall be deemed, for the purpose of this section, to have served a full term.
This initiative may be amended only by a majority of the voters of San Diego County at a regular election.
If any provision of this initiative or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, that invalidity shall not affect other provisions or applications of this initiative which can be given effect without the invalid provision or application, and to this end the provisions of this initiative are severable. In enacting this initiative, it is the express intent of the voters that, if any provision of this initiative is held invalid, the remainder of the initiative shall be given full force and effect.
In the event that this initiative and another initiative measure or measures relating to term limits shall appear on the same County election ballot, the provisions of the other initiative or initiatives shall be deemed to be in conflict with this initiative. In the event that this initiative receives a greater number of affirmative votes, the provisions of this initiative shall prevail in their entirety, and the provisions of the other initiative shall be null and void.

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Created: August 20, 2010 21:43 PDT
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