Have Something To Say About Term Limits?
February 5, 2010

 The City of Houston Term Limits Review Commission

invites you to an open session for public input

   concerning term limits for Houston elected officials

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

7:00 p.m.

City Council Chamber

Second Floor, City Hall

901 Bagby

Houston, Texas 77002


The City of Houston Term Limits Review Commission, chaired by Ambassador Arthur Schechter, requests input from the public on term limits for elected officials of the City of Houston.  The Commission will consider the merits of various possible revisions to length of terms, number of terms and whether terms are to be staggered.  However, by City Ordinance, the Commission may not recommend the abolition of term limits. The Commission is to make a recommendation to the Mayor and Houston City Council by July 1, 2010.

Houston’s Popular Outgoing Mayor Appoints Commission to Study Term Limits
December 29, 2009

Let’s be honest. There are plenty of voters in the city of Houston who wouldn’t  mind seeing Mayor Bill White stick around for another six years.

But according to current city rules, council members, the controller and Mayor can serve a maximum of  six years in office.

As he prepares to leave office on December 31, 2009, the Mayor has announced the appointment of a commission to review the city’s term limit provisions.


December 29, 2009

Mayor Bill White Announces the Appointment of a Commission to

Review the City’s Term Limit Provisions                                                                      

Mayor Bill White today announced the appointment of a blue-ribbon Commission on term limits.  This Commission was created by an ordinance adopted unanimously by City Council.  The commission will prepare a report analyzing the impact of term limitations adopted as part of Houston’s City Charter in 1993.  This commission will make recommendations concerning any changes to the length of the terms that an individual could serve.  The commission is not authorized by the ordinance to recommend an abolition of term limits.

 According to Mayor White, “We need to examine whether the city of Houston has the right length of terms and number of terms based on the experiences of citizens in this community.  There is a balance between wanting to prevent incumbents from becoming too entrenched and the need to maintain some experience in the elected leadership so that a career official in city government is accountable to informed elected officials.  The members of this commission reflect a diverse leadership group within our city.” 

The Commission shall make its recommendations and report by July 1, 2010, and shall be disbanded after this time.  Any changes in term limits recommended by the Term Limits Commission would have to be voted on by the public in order to be effective.  According to the commission proposed by Mayor White, Mayor White would not be eligible for any service as Mayor, regardless of changes recommended by the Commission for any other City officials.

Arthur Schechter, a former Chairman of the Metropolitan Transit Authority and former U.S. Ambassador to the Bahamas, was designated by Mayor White as Chair.  Claudia Williamson was nominated by Controller Annise Parker as as Vice-Chair.  Williamson was the founding Chair of Blue Print Houston.  She has served on many business and non-profit boards including the Houston Read Commission and the Houston Area Water Corporation.

The commission is composed of six members nominated by Mayor White, including the Chair, a Vice-Chair (nominated by the City Controller); and the balance of 15 members nominated by City Council.  Those members are:  Frumencio Reyes, Council Member Toni Lawrence, Christina Cabral, Sylvia K. Brooks, John L. Nau, Jane Cahill West, Kathryn Chace-McNiel, Ed Wulfe, Thomas Jones, Jr., Ester King, Dorothy Miller, William A. Jordan, Robert M. Stein, Theodore L. Deaver, Carrol G. Robinson, Anan Qaddumi, Edward J. Cummins, Jr., James S. Bowie, and Diana Davila Martinez.