Councilmember Allan Domb (At Large) introduced legislation on Thursday that would impose term limits on members of Philadelphia City Council.
Councilmember Domb’s legislation would set a four-term limit for serving in City Council (members are elected to four-year terms), meaning any member could serve a maximum amount of 16 years in Council. Because Domb’s bill requires a change in the city’s Home Rule Charter, it must first receive approval from two-thirds of Council, and then, by the voters of Philadelphia.
“The reasons behind this charter change are simple: term limits allow for fresh ideas and increase diversity in City Council candidates – creating a more engaging democratic process for voters and candidates,” Domb said in a prepared statement. “Term limits encourage officials to make bold policy decisions and to hold leaders accountable.”
Domb tried to introduce term limits legislation previously in Council, but it failed to attract enough support and never moved forward.
In 2020, Council President Darrell L. Clarke (5th District) had term limits legislation introduced in Council on his behalf. That bill would have limited Council members to five terms in office. Clarke’s legislation included companion legislation that would have asked Philadelphia voters to amend the Charter to eliminate the city’s resign-to-run law, the Council president has said in the past that resign-to-run significantly limits Philadelphia public officials from considering statewide or any other office. No other county in Pennsylvania has a resign-to-run law. City legal counsel indicated at the time that the two issues were separate and could not be considered in one single piece of legislation, so Clarke’s bill did not move forward.
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