Loganville Council votes down term limits

LOGANVILLE — Some of the faces were different, or simply in different chairs, but the outcome of the latest resolution in Loganville to establish term limits was voted down.

In a 4-2 roll call vote on Thursday at the City Council meeting, the attempt to establish limits to hold public office after two terms was denied. The limit would be to sit out one election cycle after serving two terms. Councilman Skip Baliles brought the issue, which was seconded by Councilman Michael Jones. The votes to deny the resolution came from Mark Kiddoo, Rey Martinez, Michelle Lynch and Jay Boland.

Baliles initially tried to remove the resolution from the agenda, but his request was denied at the start of the meeting. He said the General Assembly would want Loganville to have a referendum.

Kiddoo said that the definition wasn’t accurate, that it was a “pause” in service, and someone could still serve “40 years” under this structure. Kiddoo called the way Baliles brought the issue “underhanded” because he said Baliles didn’t discuss it with Boland, who was elected in June, or any other council member. Kiddoo said Baliles didn’t provide a copy of the proposal.

“I kind of guess we have to pass it in order to find out what’s in it,” Kiddoo said. “No thank you, Mr. Pelosi, that’s not really the way I do business. This is not the way we operate our politics in Loganville.”

In February 2012, Baliles was also supported by Dan Curry, who as mayor didn’t cast a vote on Thursday. Last year, then-Mayor Ray Nunley cast the deciding vote against imposing term limits.

Jones said he’s always been in favor of term limits and, “wish we could do it nationally, but you’ve got to start somewhere.”

“I still think we need fresh ideas when you have a minimal amount of terms, and in eight years, if you can’t get it done, you probably need to go home,” Jones said.

Martinez said Baliles made some campaign promises that he now regrets. Martinez said he agrees with term limits on the federal level, and possibly the state level, but not local.

“You have the power,” Martinez said. “Nov. 5, it could be my term limit, but I’m going to leave it up to you. I’m not going to leave it up to Mr. Baliles. We have a term limit on Nov. 5. Use it.”

Lynch referenced Boland as an example of the voting system bringing a fresh face to the Council.

“I certainly hope we don’t have to have a mayor pass away for that to happen,” Baliles said.

Boland said on the campaign trail when he knocked on 700 to 800 doors, he didn’t hear anyone talk about term limits. The issues were taxes, water, new businesses and the town green.

“If I’m not going to do my job up here, then come election time, the voters will decide my term limit,” Boland said.

In other policy decisions, the Council set the millage rate at 10.27, the same rate it’s been since 2008. Police Chief Mike McHugh and the Council agreed to table a discussion about an automated tag reader for 30 days because of questions related to privacy issues. McHugh said Loganville Ford was the low bidder for two vehicles at a cost of $43,536.50.

The Council approved a change order for $46,000 to install 480 feet of water main along Brand Road. It also approved $11,154.60 for the annual maintenance contract for the SCADA system from Missions Communications.

The Council also approved $625,000 from SPLOST funds to replace water meters, and $62,000 for e-coder readers.

City Manager Bill Jones said qualifying dates for the Nov. 5 election would be Aug. 26 to Aug. 28. Qualifying costs are $180 for council and $360 for mayor.