Monday, April 15, 2024

Bossier City Council postpones vote on term limits ordinance

by BIZ Magazine

By Randy Brown, Bossier Press-Tribune

At its Tuesday August 1, 2023 meeting, the Bossier City Council did not place the proposal for a much debated term limit ordinance on the meeting agenda.

The proposed ordinance would limit all Bossier City elected officials to three three terms in office and would have to be voted on for approval by Bossier City residents. Some members of the Bossier City Council are now concerned with regard to the timing of the term limit ordinance in relation to the time constraints now in play in terms of the timing involved in getting the item placed on the November 18, 2023 ballot. This concern is also being expressed by the interested citizens who are pushing to move this ordinance forward.

For the term limit item to be placed on the November 18 ballot, an application must be filed with the Office of the Louisiana Secretary of State by September 25, 2023. As a result of the postponement of the term limit proposal at the August 1 city council meeting, the first reading of the term limit ordinance will now be forced to wait until the city council’s August 15 regular meeting, with a final reading and vote by the city council taking place on August 29.

As previously reported by the Bossier Press-Tribune, the ordinance calling for the three term limit submitted by Mayor Chandler on Friday July 28 will give the Bossier City Council an opportunity to vote on moving forward with placing an amendment of the city charter on the November 18 ballot so that the citizens of Bossier City can decide this issue. The city charter amendment called for in the 2,977 signature citizens petition brought forward by the Bossier City Term Limits Coalition at the July 18 Bossier City Council meeting would establish three term limits for all Bossier City elected officials. 

At their July 18 regular meeting, the Bossier City Council voted 5-2 to seek outside legal counsel regarding whether a citizen petition is valid in terms of setting the wheels in motion for an amendment of the city charter to be placed on the ballot for voters to decide. At question is whether or not the city charter restricts what can be changed strictly to ordinances or if a ballot item calling for a change to the city charter can be brought about by a citizen petition. 

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