Marks to propose County Council term limits

Fifth District Baltimore County Councilman David Marks' first piece of legislation in 2012 will be one that he campaigned on to earn his council seat back in 2010.

Marks said that at next week's Baltimore County Council meeting, scheduled for Jan. 17, he will introduce a bill that assigns three-term limits to council members, beginning in 2014.

"I think it's healthy to have automatic turnover of officials in county government," Marks said. "There are five freshman members of the County Council, and I think you've seen a lot of fresh ideas over the last year. It makes a lot of sense."

Marks' bill will limit council members to three consecutive terms, meaning a council member could leave following a third term, then run again four years later.

Because the bill would amend the County Charter, it would require five of the seven council members to vote in favor for it to go on the ballot as a referendum in 2014.

However, Marks isn't sure the bill will get past the council.

"I've talked to all of my colleagues, and it's going to be tough to get the five votes," Marks said. "But at least this will provoke a discussion about the idea."

Should the bill pass, the three-term limit would begin in 2014, meaning that all sitting council members would still be allowed three additional terms before they are forced to leave office.

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