Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Term Limits - Another Look

Term Limits is still known as the largest grassroots movement in American history, and US Term Limits (USTL) was, and still is, the leader of that movement. Term limits have been placed on 15 state legislatures, eight of the ten largest cities in America adopted term limits for their city councils and/or mayor, and 37 states place term limits on their constitutional officers. Read more

Letter-to-the-editor (2/17/10) from Father Piers Lahey

I have been thinking about the current discussion of term limits. If the President of these United States can only legally serve two terms of four years, why would a local Town/City Council member oppose similar guidelines? In the Catholic Church, pastors used to serve their particular parishes for many years after receiving their appointment from the Bishop (unlike many other Christian churches whose pastors are "called" by a decision of the local congregation). In the parish where I grew up, there was one pastor who served from 1942 until 1975. His successor served from 1975 until 1996. No "term limits" at work here. In recent years, there has been a term limit of sorts for Catholic pastors. The current national policy is that no pastor shall be re-appointed after his second term (ie., the pastor will ordinarily serve 12 years and then move on to a new assignment.) My second term here at Good Shepherd ended on June 30 of last year. However, for various reasons, my service was extended for a period of time. How long is still unclear. I'm sure there are those who will be happy to see me move on, but for me, at the age of 60, the whole prospect of doing so is rather overwhelming. Still, the impending change will be good for our local church, just as change would be good with term limits for our elected officials — new eyes, new vision, new ideas, new commitment, new energy and new dedication. Ronald Reagan once wrote that "to grasp and hold a vision, that is the very essence of successful leadership — not only on the movie set where I learned it, but everywhere." Someone who is in a place or elected position for too long certainly runs the risk of losing the vision.

Posted by Kathy Meeh

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