“Society will not change,” she said.
The commission also recommended limiting the number of years a council member can serve to two, four-year terms. After serving eight years, a council member could step down for at least two years, then run again, Clark said.
She wants Monroe voters to decide the issue because it’s “bigger than the six of us,” she said, referring to the commission.
By setting term limits, she said, the commission hopes to prevent “stagnation, indifference” on city council and create more turnover.
“Mix it up and keep us going,” she said.
She said the suggestion wasn’t a “negative reflection” on council, but a way to bring “new ideas to old problems.”
Clark said the term limit would impact those on council running in the next election. Anyone on council not on the ballot this year would be allowed to serve eight more years.
Of the seven council members, Robert “Bob” Routson (24 years), Todd Hickman (21 years) and Anna Hale (15 years) have exceeded the recommended term limits. The terms for those three expire Dec. 31, 2021.
Routson recently announced he was resigning at the end of the month. He’s retiring from the Butler County Auditor’s Office and said his $4,200 salary ($350 per month) as a member of council would impact his retirement benefits from the county.
The commission also recommended allowing anyone interested in being elected mayor to be voted on by city council members. Right now, the first person mentioned is elected, Clark said.
MONROE CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
Tom Callahan: First term expires Dec. 31, 2023.
Mayor Jason Frentzel: Second term expires Dec. 31, 2023.
Vice Mayor Keith Funk: Second term expires Dec. 31, 2023.
Anna Hale: Fourth term expires Dec. 31, 2021.
Todd Hickman: Third term expires Dec. 31, 2021.
Christina McElfresh: Appointed to fill a vacancy on Feb. 13, 2018. Term expires Dec. 31, 2023.
Robert “Bob” Routson: Sixth term expires Dec. 31, 2021.
SOURCE: Monroe City Council records