Term Limits for Tribal Officials – Proposed Amendment #4

termlimitsTERM LIMITS FOR THE COUNCIL – Proposed Amendment #4 gives voters three options:

Option 1 – Proposes to limit persons to serving two (2) consecutive terms on the Isleta Tribal Council.

Option 2 – Proposes to limit persons to serving three (3) consecutive terms on the Isleta Tribal Council.

Option 3 – Is “No Change.” This means no term limits.

Most people are in favor of term limits because they dislike certain persons that are serving in office. Nevertheless, terms limits are a bad idea.

First, term limits hurt elected officials that are doing a good job for our Tribe. Term limits work only to prevent you from voting for the person that you like, which makes no sense. You should be able to vote for the person that you believe will do a good job representing you. Term limits take away your choice.

Second, if we want the Tribal Council to do a good job, then we need persons on the Council that have experience. The Council deals with a wide variety of critical issues.  Many of those issues are complex and they can sometimes take years to resolve.  So, it makes no sense to prohibit our most experienced persons from seeking public office. They are the persons that we need the most to be in office.  Electing 12 persons that are clueless about how government works will not benefit the Tribe.

Our goal should be electing people that have good ideas, people that are honest, people that are willing to listen to other ideas and most importantly, people that will treat ALL tribal members fairly. 

If we knew the values, beliefs and positions that candidates held, then it would allow us  to make better choices on who we elect.  Currently, our system simply allows the top 12 candidates receiving the greatest number of votes to get onto the Council.  The candidates don’t truly compete against each other by being forced to discuss their ideas concerning the Tribe.  Instead, people get elected based on the size of their families or by doing political favors for certain groups or individuals.

If we want good people in office, we need a different method of electing tribal officials such as creating voting districts. This would force candidates to express their ideas and their positions on various issues. Creating terms limits does nothing to cause officials to explain their ideas to the community.

Thus, term limits will not improve the quality of candidates that seek public office. Instead, it will hurt our Tribe because we will prevent our most experienced candidates from seeking public office.

Select Option 3 on Proposed Amendment #4, which is “No Change.”

TERM LIMITS FOR THE GOVERNOR – Proposed Amendment #5 gives voters three options:

Option 1 – Proposes to limit persons to serving two (2) consecutive terms as Governor.

Option 2 – Proposes to limit persons to serving three (3) consecutive terms as Governor.

Option 3 – Is “No Change.” This means no term limits.

On Proposed Amendment #5, select Option #3, which is “No Change.”

What are your thoughts?