What is the current Term Limit for Santee City Council?

Terms are currently unlimited for Santee City council members. Incumbents use their power over the budget to gain the endorsements of Sheriff and Fire Political Action Committees (PACs) and other special interests. Emergency service costs routinely exceed 70% of the budget. Incumbents rarely have a serious challenge due to the advantage they maintain and almost always serve numerous terms. The opportunity for change comes when there is a vacancy / open seat election.

What is the Term Limit proposed by the Santee Term Limits citizens’ initiative?

Three four 4-year terms as a lifetime limit. The limit applies to the mayor and council members. Partial term appointments will be counted as full terms.

Is the citizen’s Initiative retroactive or post dated?

No. The Initiative becomes effective with terms beginning after voters pass it. Shell committee’s for developers are circulating misinformation taking advantage of the fact the citizens’ initiative was intended to qualify for the 2018 election.

How does the Santee Term Limits Initiative compare to Term Limits in other cities?

Residents of La Mesa established the same limit of three 4-year terms in 2014: https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/communities/east-county/santee/story/2020-06-19/santee-council-votes-to-put-competing-term-limit-measure-on-november-ballot

For the Santee City Council’s competing measure, what is the Term Limit proposed?

The competing measure adds an additional two 4-year terms for the mayor setting up a potential 20-year career on city council.

Could the competing measure be a strategy to defeat both Term Limits measures?

Unknown, but possible. Confused voters tend to vote against ballot measures, so confusion is a primary political strategy for those on the wrong side of an issue. If enough voters are confused, then both measures could fail. We encourage a YES vote on the citizen’s initiative.

Why do we need Term Limits?

Incumbent politicians in Santee hold a significant advantage in fundraising that has traditionally entrenched officials for multiple terms. Development interests cultivate extended relationships with some officials who themselves have positions that benefit financially from development decisions. Periodically, the City can benefit from a broader base of Council members with the fresh ideas and energy that are generated by competitive, non-incumbent elections.