UPDATE: Mayor Beutler reacts to efforts for term limits

UPDATE:

A group says it has enough signatures to let voters decide on a three–term limit for the office of mayor.

On Thursday, Mayor Chris Beutler held a news conference to address that.

"They are proposing mayoral terms limits for one reason and one reason only: Lincoln is thriving under our leadership and they know they can’t win a mayoral election fair and square," Beutler said.

He said the petitioners aren’t following the state’s constitutional requirement.  He said the city council must take action to put a term limits proposal on a ballot, which includes two council meetings — one of which is a public hearing.

Political Renewal Association member J.L. Spray disagrees.  He said the constitution only requires 5 percent of citizens signatures to be put on a ballot.

"There’s no reference to hurdles with the city council voting and two meetings and having public hearings and resolutions," Spray said.

Regardless, Beutler said he’s accommodating the petitioners’ wishes in a way he said is legal.

"In the interest of transparency — and respect for both the law and those who signed the petition — I have asked the city clerk to place that resolution on city council on the August 27th agenda," Beutler said.

He said he’s also asked the city clerk to schedule a special city council meeting next Wednesday to hold a public hearing and vote on the proposal.

"My object is to have our language on the ballot and I think we’re going to get there," Spray said.  "But this whole hoopla about the process is kind of a fiction the mayor’s created."

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A group said it has enough signatures to place a three–term limit for the office of mayor.

Lincoln Mayor Chris Beutler said he respects that, but that they need to do it in a way that’s transparent.

In addition to transparency, Beutler said the petitioners are not following the state’s constitutional requirement.

He said the city council must take action to put a term limits proposal on a ballot, which includes two council meetings — one of which is a public hearing.

But the mayor said he’s accommodating the petitioners’ wishes in a way that’s legal.

"In the interest of transparency — and respect for both the law and those who signed the petition — I have asked the city clerk to place that resolution on city council on the August 27th agenda."

Beutler said he’s also asked the city clerk to schedule a special city council meeting next Wednesday to hold a public hearing and vote on the proposal.

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