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Council gets riled up about term limits

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By BEN DUDLEYThe Wilson Post

Out of a somewhat lengthy agenda for Tuesday night’s regular Lebanon City Council meeting, one topic, term limits, garnered the most controversy and discussion.

There are those who say term limits need to be implemented while others say that elections will weed out those who need to be weeded out.

Resolution No. 10-1464, to request a State of Tennessee Private Act amending the Lebanon City Charter relative to the Term Lengths of the Mayor and Members of the City Council, was sponsored by Ward 5 Councilor Haywood Barry.

He said the local daily newspaper “had a poll that said 82 percent agreed that we need term limits,” Barry said. “I don’t know how scientific that poll was, but I have always thought we needed term limits.”

Other councilors sided with Barry while Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler amended the resolution to even up the limits for the mayor and city council at two consecutive terms.

However, Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath was passionately against the resolution.

“It is not our job to tell people what to do,” Warmath said. “If the people think that I am not doing my job well and I need to go home, they will tell me to go home. That’s what elections are for.”

Mayor Philip Craighead added that he was also against the resolution, but the mayor does not get a vote except in order to break a tie.

In the end, the resolution passed 4-2, with Warmath and Ward 4 Councilor Joe Hayes voting against it.

In other matters, council passed an ordinance on second reading to authorize additional Final Line Item Transfers for Fiscal Year 2008-09, which moved a total of $223,000. The vote was 4-2 with Buhler and Ward 3 Councilor William Farmer voting no.

Council also passed first readings for several ordinances authorizing purchases of two pickup trucks, 25 radios and 23 laptop computers for the Police Department. The Sewer Department also requested a pickup truck and that ordinance was passed on its first reading.

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