Term Lengths & Limits Choice Not Going to Voters

At their April 17 meeting, the Apache Junction City Council chose not to take action on limiting the terms of council members and mayor or changing the length of the mayor’s term.

After discussing two of the items introduced by Mayor Jeff Serdy—that ballot questions about terms limits for elected officials should be brought to residents for a vote—the Council did not make a motion to give further direction to staff and no vote was taken.

A third staff direction item – changing the length of the mayor’s term from 2 to 4 years – did get a motion from Councilman Chip Wilson and was seconded by Mayor Serdy. The motion failed after the vote was split 3 to 3 with Wilson, Councilman Jeff Struble and Mayor Serdy in favor and council members Gail Evans, Robin Barker and Dave Waldron opposed. Councilwoman Christa Rizzi was absent for the vote.

The discussion on Tuesday night was a continuation from the Council’s April 2 work session, when Mayor Serdy introduced the idea of term limits for mayor and city council, as well as doubling the length of the mayor’s term. Currently, the mayor’s term is two years, and the council members serve for 4 years. There is no limit on how many terms each officeholder can serve if they are reelected.

City Manager Bryant Powell pointed out that most Arizona cities have the same arrangement as Apache Junction. Councilwoman Barker gave credit to the intelligent voters in Apache Junction. “We have a council-run government. Every two years, the voters can decide – all council members are not elected at the same time,” she said.

The City Council also tabled a vote on direction to staff concerning a “one percent for art” development policy. The council had previously discussed the concept at the April 2 work session. The policy would add 1% to the overall project cost of new commercial construction. Most on the council were hesitant to add costs to new projects.

Other items addressed at the City Council meeting  on April 17 included Mayor Serdy reading a proclamation designating April as Fair Housing Month.

Student councils and other students from Desert Vista Elementary School and Peralta Trails Elementary School gave updates on their recent community efforts at the April 17 City Council meeting.

The council also honored the Student Councils from Desert Vista Elementary School and Peralta Trails Elementary School. The students updated the council on their community efforts to collect and distribute boxes of cereal to those in need, as well as organizing fundraising activities to benefit Community Alliance Against Family Abuse and Paws & Claws Care Center.

There was a presentation by Dave Richins, Board President of the Community Development Corporation, who reported on the group’s activities. He said that they are currently focusing on junk collections and neighborhood clean ups. He said CDC is just starting out, and they want to work “in concert with the goals of the city.”

There were two public hearings and the Council voted unanimously to: submit applications for the Fiscal Year 2018 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and State Special Project grant (SSP), and to approve a city-initiated rezoning of properties along Ironwood Drive between Apache Trail and Broadway.

The Council voted unanimously (6-0) to hold a budget work session on April 30, 2018, to adopt a tentative budget on May 14, 2018, and adopt the final budget on June 18, 2018.

The next Council meeting will be held May 1, 2018

City Council meetings are open to the public and held in chambers at 300 E. Superstition Blvd. in Apache Junction. The meetings begin at 7:00 p.m. Complete agendas and supporting materials are available at https://apachejunction.legistar.com/Calendar.aspx.

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