Coppell City Councilmember John Jun floated the idea of possibly enacting term limits for council members.
“At the end of the day … it’s essential to bring in fresh faces, fresh ideas. That is actually good for the city,” he said.
Coppell has no term limits, and each term lasts three years. Jun added the price for elections increased from $12,000 per election to $66,000 per election.
Three elections per fiscal year cost the city more than $200,000 annually, Jun said.
Jun also suggested changing the term limit from three years to four and having a two-term maximum. He said term limits are “essential” for serving the community.
Jun pointed to Carrollton and Southlake, which have a three-year term with a two-term limit.
Council member Gary Roden, however, said extending the term from three to four years would provide fewer opportunities and believes the city does not have the same issue as in the federal space where there are no term limits.
Roden also said many cities that do have term limits run the risk of having a new council every few years, which costs money and continuity.
He said if you turn over a council every three years, “you won’t have a very efficient council.”
Mayor Karen Hunt said term limits are a way to let people know it is time to step aside, but Coppell has not had that issue. Hunt was elected to the council in 2008, became mayor in 2012 and is currently the longest-tenured council member.
“I hate to fix something that’s not broken,” Hunt said.
Amending term limits would involve changing the city charter. City Manager Mike Land said typically a charter amendment involves the creation of a charter review commission to perform an analysis of other possible changes.
The commission would make recommendations to the council, which would consider the items put before voters in an election.