Term Limit Proposal Shot Down by Duluth's Charter Commission

Posted at: 07/10/2013 8:53 PM | Updated at: 07/10/2013 10:38 PM
By: Laurie Stribling
lstribling@wdio.com

The mayor and city councilors in Duluth will be able to run for re-election if they want after a term-limiting proposal was shot down Wednesday.

Eli Miletich serves on Duluth's Charter Commission and he authored a proposal that would put a two-time term limit on the mayor and city council positions. The idea was voted down during the Wednesday meeting with Miletich being the only one to vote in favor.

"For too long, we have tolerated professional politicians sitting in comfortable chairs," Miletich said. "The motive is just clean up city government, that's all."

Mayor Don Ness opposed the proposal and he even made that clear on his Facebook page. While he didn't support the idea, he did welcome discussion from the community on the topic.

"I think you have to take a proposal like this seriously," Ness said. "It's changing the structure of our city elections. It's changing our City Charter."

Ness also said Miletich made the proposal to keep him from running again.

"I think it's pretty clear to me Eli Miletich is doing this because he has a political axe to grind," Ness said.

Ness said Miletich, a former Duluth Police Chief, didn't like changes he made to retiree healthcare. Miletich said that wasn't the reason for his proposal.

"He's generated that because he has no other crutch to rely on," Miletich said. "Nothing personal, I think he's a nice guy."

Ness also said three of the last four Duluth mayors left office because they lost re-election. Ness said that proves voters don't have a problem voting for new people to fill positions if they are unsatisfied with current leadership.

During the meeting, Miletich did move to table the proposal allowing for more community discussion on the issue. The motion was denied.

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