Note: This story was updated at 3:55 p.m.
Among the issues in the campaign for Anderson County Charter Commission are whether term limits should be implemented for Anderson County commissioners and the Anderson County mayor, whether the County Commission should be reduced in size, and whether the law director should be elected.
We are curious what Oak Ridge Today readers think so we set up some poll questions to ask you. They are below.
Nothing can officially be proposed, debated, or recommended to voters in the November 2018 election until after the Charter Commission is elected this November 8.
There have been proposals this campaign season to enact a two-term limit for commissioners and the mayor and reduce the County Commission from its current 16 to a minimum of nine. There have been other proposals as well, including making the mayor’s position part-time, making the law director’s position part-time, and appointing a mayor rather than electing the mayor.
There has also been discussion of having county commissioners serve staggered terms rather than being elected all at once every four years. Staggered terms are used by several other local government bodies, including Oak Ridge City Council and Oak Ridge Board of Education.
Those who have supported term limits say that commissioners become “stagnant,” and they’d like to get more young people involved in county government. Those who have raised concerns say that the county has term limits in the form of elections every four years, and among other arguments, they say that the commissioner’s job is a low-paid one that is essentially a volunteer office.
There has been much less debate on imposing term limits on the office of county mayor.
There has been debate over whether Anderson County needs a full-time law director and whether electing someone to that office would “politicize” it.
Some of those suggesting the county executive (now the county mayor) could be appointed, rather than elected, have used the City of Oak Ridge as an example of one model. In that model, an elected City Council appoints a full-time city administrator.
(You read some of the arguments for and against some of the campaign issues in this Charter Commission forum story. It features the Oak Ridge candidates for Charter Commission.)
What do you think based on what you know?
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