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Initiative to set Kern County Board of Supervisor term limits moves to November ballot

Posted at 3:22 PM, Jul 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-19 21:23:27-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — At the forefront of Tuesday's Kern County Board of Supervisors meeting was a discussion on potential term limits for supervisors.

For months the We Are Kern County Coalition has been advocating for a measure to be placed on the November ballot setting term limits for county supervisors. They collected over 20,000 signatures from residents who support term limits and now the measure will be in the hands of the voters.

“I put my name on the initiative for a reason and it's because I believe that we do need change in Kern County," said term limit proponent and community member Sandy Moreno. "And the fact that they're proposing alternative ballot initiatives that means that they are diluting all the efforts that we had.”

At the June 28th Board of Supervisors meeting the board approved the submission of the We are Kern County Coalition initiative to place a term-limit measure on the November ballot. But at that time the board also asked county counsel to see if it could submit its own proposals. Those included proposing term limits greater than those proposed in the citizens’ ordinance, submitting more than one ordinance with different term limits, or submitting an ordinance imposing “no term limits.”

Sandy Moreno says these considerations are signs that the board is afraid of this initiative.

“We believe that we need people to represent us every two terms right. We have the president, the governors, state assembly members. They shouldn’t fear the term limits that the community has proposed here in Kern County.”

Chairman and District 2 Supervisor Zack Scrivner says he does not agree with constraining the time supervisors can be on the board.

“I don’t think that term limits are a good idea. What it does is it empowers bureaucrats over the elected officials who are supposed to be representing the citizenry. When you lose that knowledge of the elected official who has been there for a period of time, you're relying on the appointed bureaucrats rather than the elected officials who are there to represent the public.”

But despite how he felt, Scrivner supported adding the measure without any new changes.

“Right now I think the best thing for us to do is to let the citizens' initiative go to the ballot without us putting something else on it.”

Moreno says now that the measure is moving forward as the real work begins.

“As good organizers, we are going to go and knock on doors, talk to people. We already know by talking to hundreds and hundreds of voters that they do support this initiative, so I think it's just about doing the groundwork from here on.”

All five supervisors voted to pass the initiative without any changes.

And if term limits will be imposed on the board it will be left up to the voters, come November.