Knowing your limits is good, but pushing leads to better. O’Fallon city leaders could apply that idea to the current discussion of term limits.
Mayor Herb Roach twice brought up the idea of term limits for city leaders and the city Finance and Administration Committee recently discussed them.
“I’m a believer that it is a good thing. It’s an invitation for a fresh set of eyes. It’s always good to have new eyes, fresh ideas and new concepts,” Roach said. “Sometimes, people who have served become stagnant over a long period of time. It also keeps people on the straight and narrow.”
That’s the good. Now the push for the better.
Add to term limits a reduction in the number of O’Fallon aldermen. Cut the 14 aldermen to seven, one per ward.
Belleville, too, can get by with eight instead of 16 aldermen, Fairview Heights and Granite City can both do with five instead of 10.
Besides saving salaries and benefits from halving city councils — about $33,600 for O’Fallon and $90,000 in Belleville’s case — you foster the ideal that government should be lean. You also force government to draw more volunteers into the process through boards and committees. Those groups are where tomorrow’s leaders with fresh eyes and ideas are found and developed.
Consolidating government schools, townships and other government units is one way back to sanity in the Land of 7,000 Taxing Layers, but shrinking government will also lighter the tax load.
Limit terms, limit council sizes and you are on to something.