Today Historic City News learned that once again that the power of the grassroots here in Florida can overcome any special interest, no matter how entrenched.
The Local Government Committee of the Constitutional Revision Commission just passed School Board Term Limits by a 5-1 vote, meaning we are one step closer to letting Florida voters decide in 2018 whether eight years is enough for all school board politicians.
The School Board remains one of few areas in Florida government where there are no term limits yet, except for Duval County.
Collier School Board member Erika Donalds, gave an awesome pitch for term limits. Then, like clockwork, the biggest and most powerful lobbyists in Tallahassee got up one by one to bash term limits. These guys were angry. They know they stand to lose a lot of influence over incumbents if we succeed.
Erika handled their flimsy objections with no problems. Then, one commissioner, Bob Solari of Indian River, announced he would oppose term limits. At this moment, the gallery full of lobbyists and special interests gave Solari an ovation! They were so proud that someone stood up for their swamp.
However, one minute later, the committee voted and term limits WON, 5-1. Solari and his influence-peddling friends were crushed.
So how did the lobbyists lose? It’s simple. For the last few weeks, you and people like you have been making calls and sending emails nonstop to this Commission to let them know the people want term limits. Lobbyists have no such army behind them. They have deep pockets, sure, but they lack real citizens taking action to get things done.
Citizen energy is term limits’ secret weapon.
We’ve come a long way, but School Board term limits still aren’t on the 2018 ballot yet. This measure has to pass a drafting committee and then be elevated to the full Commission level for a final vote. But today’s action brings us one big step closer.
The Commission will even be touring Florida before taking a final vote, so you’ll have an opportunity to appear in person and make your case.