The folly of term limits is amply demonstrated in the upcoming Town Council election in which Alan Mandel is ineligible to be reelected. Mr. Mandel has proven time and again he is a capable and constructive office holder. The Town has benefited from his presence on our local ruling body and the experience he has gained in dealing with Fort Myers Beach issues is an asset which will be lost due to the imposition of the two-term limit.
I am sure those who favor such limitations do so sincerely and with a belief that the result will be better government and less corruption. While a weak argument possibly can be made for the latter, a “better” government outcome is strictly a roll of the dice.
“Good government” types impose these term limit rules on voters, frequently egged on by the print and other media opinion makers (who never impose such limits on themselves). But they can’t prove the validity of their position other than to cast all politicians as corrupt, incapable or untrustworthy after a few terms of service. I would prefer to make my own judgment about whom I may vote for and not have an arbitrary rule decide for me whom I may not vote for.
Surely, the voters of Fort Myers Beach are perfectly capable of choosing the best candidate without an arbitrary rule that limits their choices. They are also demonstrably capable of voting out unsatisfactory (apparently in the view of the majority) council people, as happened in a recent election.
I am uncertain whether or not Mr. Mandel would seek office again, were he eligible. But I most assuredly regret that he has no choice. And that the voters of Fort Myers Beach have no choice, as well. I might even prefer his opponent, but that would be my choice to make.
Edward E. Lombard
Fort Myers Beach
Ed. note: Voters will vote on Council term limits in March.