City Council proposes extending term limits, despite previous public vote

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Could Memphis City Council members soon have longer term limits?

It will soon be a question you will have to answer at the polls.

Tuesday was a busy day at council with items like Pre-K, MLK 50, and utility rates up for discussion.

But city council members also discussed an ordinance that would extend their own time on council.

"Something has to change in this city," Memphis Police Association President Mike Williams said.

But it may not be Memphis City Council members.

City Council members discussed an ordinance to hold referendums next year to ask voters to extend city council term limits, from two 4-year terms to three 4-year terms.

Ordinance co-sponsor Councilman Bill Morrison said more time in office allows for city council members to get more done.

"The first term is a learning, the second term is legislating, and the third term finishing your business, and passing it on to the next generation," Morrison said.

Right now, six city council members are in their second and final term.

Williams said if this ordinance passes, it shouldn't apply to current council members.

"This is just once again a manipulation of government policy to benefit individuals," Williams said.

Williams points out that Memphians previously voted in high numbers to change the term limits from indefinite to the current two term limit.

"They are just looking at the gullibility of the citizens of Memphis," Williams said.

The ordinance to extend term limits was discussed in executive session and then taken up in full council for a first reading.

There are still two more readings before it will be voted on.

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