The Miami Herald this week urged Miami-Dade residents to make their home the 12th of Florida's 20 home rule counties to embrace county commission term limits.
Under the headline, "Term Limits Should get the Nod," the Herald editorial board notes that of the seven charter amendments Miami-Dade citizens will be considering in November, the first -- eight-year county commisison term limits -- is the "most important."
They are right.
Nearly all of the large counties in the state -- including Orange, Hillsborough, Broward, Palm Beach Duval and Pinellas -- have taken this step. While a good reform in any county, it is most important in the larger ones where special interests are larger, more powerful and more entrenched.
Term limits help ensure more competitive elections, offer greater citizen participation, bring real-world experience to the commission, spread power more equally across the single-member districts, sever the cozy relationships between special interests and incumbents, increases transparency, reduces corruption and increases the pool of those with an intimate knowledge of local government.
In other words, term limits bring government closer to the people.
Voters have turned down term limits before, because the commissioners linked them to other serve-serving measures and term limits reformers urged voters to reject the crooked package deals. But this time, the charter amendment calls for two 4-year terms and then county commissioners are not eligible to run again. That's all.
No tricks. No small print. You know what to do.