- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

THIBODAUX, La. (AP) - Thibodaux voters will decide next March if term limits should be imposed on City Council members.

In a 4-1 vote Tuesday, the Thibodaux City Council approved putting a Home Rule Charter amendment on the ballot that limits council members to three consecutive four-year terms.

The Daily Comet reports (https://bit.ly/1GO5Ue0) first-term Councilman Eric Tabor introduced the measure at the last meeting, saying voters requested term limits during his campaign.

While some officials, including Councilwoman Constance Johnson, expressed support for term limits, not everyone agreed.

Thibodaux resident Al Carter said he usually supports limits but doubts they are needed in Thibodaux.

He pointed to Tabor, who unseated incumbent Eddie Hebert last fall, and Councilman Chip Badeaux, who narrowly defeated Beau Brooks in 2008 after serving 12 years on the council.

He also said term limits might boot off some qualified council members who might be difficult to replace.

“I’m just concerned that we don’t have that many people itching and scratching to run for the council, and then if we lose some of the good folks that we’ve got on the council, what will happen at that point?” he said.

Tabor said the issue should be for voters to decide.

“There’s some people that fall on each side of this, as with any issue. However I think our vote tonight is not about term limits. We literally cannot enact term limits on ourselves,” he said, referring to the council’s inability to amend the charter without an election.

“We are merely putting it on the ballot for people to vote on it,” he said. “While I respect both sides, I think that’s a decision that’s made at the ballot box.”

Badeaux was the only member to vote against the measure.

Badeaux said he has seen newly elected officials like Tabor make similar proposals in the past.

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Information from: Daily Comet, https://www.dailycomet.com

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