Marietta, Ga., sets term limits for elected officials

Glover Machine WorksGlover Machine Works locomotive No. 81421 was built in 1916. It is today on display in downtown Marietta, Ga. (Photo by Todd DeFeo/The DeFeo Groupe)

MARIETTA, Ga. — The city council here recently voted to institute term limits for elected officials.

Starting Jan. 1, 2018, elected members of the Marietta City Council will be eligible to serve no more than three four-year terms in office. The move drew praise from Mayor Steve Tumlin.

“We listened to the people of Marietta who elected us to serve this great City,” Tumlin said in a statement. “We sought their input in November 2016 when we asked them to go to the polls and speak their minds regarding instituting term limits for the Marietta City Council and the Office of the Mayor.

“This was not a normal election, this was a Presidential Election and therefore we expected to receive a greater percentage of voters for Marietta,” he added. “More than 20,000 voted and it was a landslide.  Eighty percent of the voters voted in favor of instituting three (4) four-year terms on both City Council and the Mayor.”

According to the Georgia Municipal Association, of the more than 500 cities in Georgia, only six have term limits for both Mayor and Council, while another 17 have term limits solely for Council members.

“Many media outlets and citizens have asked me, why do this now?  Well, when many of us ran for election or re-election in November 2013, this was an item we promised to pursue and get the input of the voters and when that input stated eighty percent of you wished for term limits we sought out to make that happen,” Tumlin said. “We tried the traditional way of asking the Georgia House and Senate members to pass local legislation during the 2017 Session, but when they were unable to follow through we changed the City’s charter through the policy of Home Rule whereby cities have the ability to lawfully determine their own future.”

The city council voted July 12.

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