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Term limits passes

In a landslide vote, Farragut residents elected to have term limits for the Town’s mayor and aldermen on Election Day, Nov. 2.

“That confirms what we were already thinking, which is that people don’t like the idea of people being in office for life, so I’m glad we did this,” Mayor Ralph McGill said.

McGill campaigned on term limits, which he has said encourage turnover and interject fresh faces and fresh ideas into local government.

“You always need some fresh ideas and they don’t necessarily come from the people who’ve been there forever,” McGill said.

“And I think some people are saying it’s hard to get people to run, and well, it is hard to get people to run against incumbents.

“Now we’re going to have opportunities for other people to prevail,” he added.

The term limits will not go into effect until the Town’s next election for mayor in 2014. It will only apply to officials who run after that date, so anyone who has been elected before 2014 will not be limited from running again, no matter how many terms they’ve served.

The term limits allow any elected official to serve three terms total, and only two terms in any one office (as a mayor or as an alderman).

Alderman Bob Markli initially campaigned with the idea that term limits were unnecessary in a town the size of Farragut, but agreed with the rest of the Board that the decision should be left up to the voters.

“I think the people have expressed their will, and we have term limits. I’m happy with that,” Markli said.

According to statistics from the Knox County Election Commission Web site, nearly 5,400 people voted in absentee ballots and early voting. 4,940 of those people voted for term limits, a whopping 91.52 percent. Four hundred fifty-eight people voted against the term limits, a number equivalent to about 8.48 percent of voters.


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