Volunteers from the Weho Term Limits group will be out in force this weekend collecting signatures.
The group, which is circulating a , will be in the pocket park on the northwest corner of Crescent Heights and Santa Monica boulevards Saturday from noon to 4 p.m.
On Sunday, volunteers will have tables set up beside the Sal Guarriello Veterans' Memorial Fountain on Santa Monica Boulevard at Holloway Street (near the IHOP), from 1-3 p.m.
“Come by and sign the petition. Help us get term limits on the ballot for March," Scott Schmidt, one of the group’s organizers, told Weho Patch.
Alternately, people can go to the term limits website and pledge to sign the petition. A volunteer will then bring a copy of the petition to the person for a signature.
The group seeks to limit City Council members to three four-year terms of office, which could be served either consecutively or scattered, for a total of 12 years.
Of the current City Council members, John Heilman has served for 28 years, Abbe Land has served for 21, Jeff Prang has served for 15 and John Duran has served for 11. The new kid on the Council, John D’Amico, has served for one year.
By state law, the term limits can not be retroactive, so all of the current Council members would be allowed another 12 years.
Registering Voters at Same Time
Schmidt said the petition drive was going well.
“I’ve been walking down the sidewalk with my clip board in hand and people have come out of stores asking to sign the petition,” Schmidt said. “I was crossing the street at La Cienega and someone who was crossing with me [saw the clipboard and] asked to sign.”
The group is also registering people to vote at the same time they sign the petition.
“We’ve got voter registration forms as well,” Schmidt said. “By law, people have to be registered to vote within 72 hours of signing the petition.”
People who sign the petition must also live within West Hollywood city limits.
“When we ask if they live in West Hollywood,” Schmidt said, “if they say ‘yes,’ then about 80 percent of them sign it.”
Some Reticent to Sign
When asked about demographics, Schmidt said the younger voters seem most eager to sign.
“Whether they’re women or young men, they see term limits and ask for the pen,” Schmidt said. “Some of the older voters who have been around for a while and know certain Council members have been more reticent to sign.”
Schmidt explained that some of the older voters who have connections to the city have expressed concerns about retaliation for signing.
Such fears are groundless. At this week’s City Council meeting, City Attorney Mike Jenkins announced that the City Clerk is the only person allowed to see the names on the petition as he verifies that the person who signed is a registered voter living within West Hollywood city limits.
“By law, the only person in City Hall who will see the petitions is [City Clerk] Corey Shaffer,” Schmidt said. “He’s not allowed to show them to anyone else and can’t discuss the names either. [The petitions] are not a part of the public record.”
For more information about the term limits initiative, CLICK HERE to visit the website.