Bristol GOP Tries to Make Term Limits an Election Issue

New yard signs can be seen all over Bristol. They encourage people to support term limits.

It appears Bristol Republicans are using this strategy of term limits as a hot topic for their advantage to regain City Hall since they have no representation there.

The Bristol Edition reported on the topic and stated “Regarding term limits enacted via municipal charter or ordinance, asks the question: “Are municipalities legally able to set term limits for locally elected officials, specifically board of education members, via municipal charter or ordinance?”

The Bristol Press says a city attorney is calling for the abolishment of term limits, calling them “illegal,” but the Republican Town Committee is criticizing the move.

Republican Town Committee Chair Jeff Caggiano released a letter as a “call to action” stating “your local government is trying to subvert the will of the people.”

The Bristol Republican Party posted on Facebook that in 2013 the term limits were instituted for BOE for two consecutive 4-year terms, for four 2-year terms for Mayor and Council. The intent was to have anyone elected to BOE in 2015 to serve for only two terms. However in 2016 Republicans offered staggered terms to depoliticize the BOE.

The Bristol Edition also sites a Facebook post by the Bristol Republican Town Committee, signed by chairman Jeffrey Caggiano, cites a one-page opinion from 2001 on whether term limits would be permitted under home rule powers.

The entry states explicitly that “The Office of Legislative Research is not authorized to issue legal opinions and this memorandum should not be considered as one.”

The Bristol Democrats posted on Facebook that in 2013, establishing term limits for elected officials was discussed by Charter Revision, and supported by then Councilman Henri Martin and other Republicans. At that time, Board of Education Chair Chris Wilson testified before the Charter Commission that we do not have the authority to establish term limits without state legislative approval.

Bristol Republicans controlled City Hall and the Charter Revision Commission and decided to ignore Chris Wilson. Instead, they put a question on the ballot that gave voters the ability to vote on something that we as a city had no authority to change. They chose to move forward with their plan without further investigation.

No one from the Democratic side of the aisle is trying to thwart the will of the people or the democratic process. Integrity is living the words you speak. Here are some images from the last two weeks. You decide who is serving Bristol’s best interests.

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