For the second time in recent years, Florida Keys Mosquito Control Board Commissioner Phil Goodman is proposing term limits for board members.
“I did this about five years ago and it was defeated 3-2,” he told the Keynoter prior to the board’s Tuesday meeting in Marathon.
Goodman is pushing for a limit of two four-year terms for commissioners. Currently, terms are four years with no limits on the number of terms one can serve.
It would take three “yes” votes from the board to put the term limits into motion, after which state Legislature would have the final say because Mosquito Control was legislatively created.
Goodman’s fellow commissioners were wary of changing the term limits for two reasons: What they say is the way the state could control the legislation negatively and that it takes time for commissioners to become comfortable in the seat.
“Whatever you’re doing here, the governor has had a hot interest in special districts,” Mosquito Control District attorney Dirk Smits warned at the meeting Tuesday, adding Gov. Rick Scott has been “steamed” by special districts in the past. “He’s still our governor, but I don’t know what, if any, interest he would take in it.”
“I just would be cautious when we look at the numeric value we’re going to place on a term,” said Commissioner Jill Craney-Gage. “I’m not saying I wouldn’t support something along the lines of that but I don’t think it will be beneficial to our district.”
Commissioner Stan Zuba, elected last year, agreed and said there is a learning curve.
“My biggest concern is the liability of the Mosquito Control District being terminated or having something done to this wonderful organization,” he said.
Commissioners decided to delay action on possible term limits and have a discussion with state Rep. Holly Raschein (R-Key Largo) about it.
“I think it’d be important to take the temperature in Tallahassee and see what the word on the street is,” said Commissioner Brandon Pinder, also elected last year.
Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219