Hendersonville residents to decide on term limits for aldermen and mayor after 'compromise'

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Term limits for Hendersonville’s elected Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be something residents decide on as part of the Nov. 8 ballot.

The referendum proposes a yes or no vote to:

  • "The number of terms served by the mayor or by an alderman shall not exceed three (3) consecutive four-year terms, regardless of the ward designation for an alderman.  Current aldermen and the current mayor shall be limited to two (2) additional, consecutive terms.”

Candidates who are in office for three straight terms could run again after they essentially sit out the term they would be prohibited from, Hendersonville City Attorney John Bradley said.

Second reading was approved Aug. 9

Term limits would apply to aldermanic seats, regardless of the ward designation. However, the mayor and aldermanic terms would be considered separate offices and term limits would apply to each office separately.

An interim appointment for an alderman or mayor would not count toward the term limit.

In June, BOMA initially approved a three-term limit for all BOMA members on the first of two readings.

Hendersonville Alderman Eddie Roberson.
Hendersonville Alderman Eddie Roberson.

But the legislation was amended to a two-term limit for all candidates on second reading, which did not get the required nine votes needed to place the referendum on the ballot. The vote was 8-4 in favor of the two-term limit with one abstention.

The ordinance, brought back in July, also proposed not to exceed a two four-year terms.

The two-year term limit for present BOMA members and a three-year limit for others was an amendment offered by Alderman Eddie Roberson as a “compromise.”

Roberson’s amendment to bump the limit for new candidates to three years passed unanimously prior to first reading.

“It was evident to me everyone wanted term limits,” Roberson said. “It was the details we got in the bushes.”

John Evans, a Hendersonville resident and new planning commission member, addressed the board about polls he conducted that showed more than 83% of Hendersonville residents wanted some type of term limits.

Evans conducted a poll two years ago with similar results.

Almost 300 voters were surveyed on Hendersonville term limits, which Evans said makes for about a 6.5% margin for error.

Reach Andy Humbles at ahumbles@tennessean.com or 615-726-5939 and on Twitter @ AndyHumbles.

This article originally appeared on Nashville Tennessean: Hendersonville residents to decide on term limits for BOMA members