Mayor Chris Beutler today said he is taking steps to put a Mayoral term limits proposal on the November ballot in the interests of "transparency, integrity and respect for the voters of this great City." The petition calls for a three-term limit on the office of Mayor, and passage would make Mayor Beutler ineligible to be on the ballot in the Mayor 2019 City election.
"I am disgusted by the actions of political party hacks who are trying to change the rules in the middle of the game because they cannot beat us in the May election," Beutler said. "I think what they are doing is unethical and unfair. It is naked political opportunism and an affront to democracy. I believe Lincoln residents recognize and respect the integrity of the election process. And I believe that Lincoln residents -- no matter whether they are Republicans, Democrats, Independents or members of other political parties -- will reject these tactics."
City Attorney Jeff Kirkpatrick said the City Council must take action by September 4 in order to put the term limits proposal on the November ballot. But he said petition organizers have not allowed enough time to follow the two-meeting process set forth in law. The Mayor's Office is intervening in two situations:
"Unlike the political operatives, I care more about fairness and integrity than winning," Beutler said. "That's why I am intervening to make sure their proposal can legally be placed on the ballot for a vote in November, while also allowing for a public hearing. That's the way we do things in Lincoln - open and above board.
"The Mayor and Council will do our duty to put the term limits issue on the November ballot," he said. "Let's not allow the political hacks leading this effort to escape public scrutiny. Once that is done, we can get back to our successful work to make Lincoln the best city in the country to live, work and raise a family."