Multnomah County

Measure No. 26-60

Referred to the People by the Board of County Commissioners as Recommended by the Multnomah County Charter Review Committee.


CAPTION: County Term Limits

QUESTION: Shall County Charter’s limit on voters ability to elect a person to more than two four-year terms be repealed?

SUMMARY: The Charter limits public service in county elective offices. No person can serve more than two four-year terms. Voters cannot decide to keep a person in office. The measure repeals Charter Section 6.50(3). It takes effect on November 3, 2004.


This measure amends the Charter. It now limits a person to two full four-year terms in an elective office in any 12-year period. Voters cannot decide to keep a county elected official in office. A person is no longer eligible for county elected office.

The Charter Review Committee thinks term limits cost the public experienced elected officials. Most other counties and cities do not have term limits.

The Charter Review Committee recommends this measure. It will repeal the county term limits.

The measure will take effect November 3, 2004.
Submitted by:
Multnomah Co. Charter Review Committee

No arguments AGAINST this measure were filed

Measure No. 26-60 | Multnomah County

All members of the Charter Review Committee voted in favor of deleting term limits from the Charter.

Presently, the County Charter does not allow an elected official to serve more than two four-year terms within a 12-year period. This creates the possibility that the County will be deprived of good leaders that voters believe should continue in office for additional terms.

  • Would you change the management of your business every eight years if you believed they were doing a great job? Just as management learned all aspects of the business, it would be time to change and start from scratch.
  • Can you hold someone accountable for something for which they have little or no background? Staff, non-governmental organizations and businesses have become increasingly powerful because they have far more history and knowledge than the elected officials. With term limits, there’s not one elected County official with significant history.

Start thinking long-term. With term limits, visioning and long-term planning can be compromised. Most elected officials have their own special projects they want to complete while in office. They are less likely to look at what is important for the county as a whole and create and implement a plan to accomplish the tasks necessary to achieve those plans if they have only two terms.

Put the power back in the hands of the voter. Term limits do not guarantee an improvement in government service. Only a well-informed and thoughtful electorate can do that. It is undemocratic to deny them the option of voting for a candidate simply because he or she has already served for two terms. Let us trust the electorate and eliminate term limits.

The Charter Review Committee requests that you vote yes on Measure 26-60.

The Oregonian on August 25th wrote, “…voters should be able to decide how many terms an elected official should serve, and whether their experience is an asset or a liability. Vote ‘yes’ on Measure 26-60.”

(This information furnished by Lynn D. Partin, Charter Review Committee Volunteer PAC)

The printing of this argument does not constitute an endorsement by Multnomah County, nor does the county warrant the accuracy or truth of any statements made in the argument.