Antonovich delivers his 2012 State of the County address.
Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich wants to give county voters the opportunity to keep him in office until 2024.
A motion added by Antonovich as an addendum to Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors agenda would call for a special election to decide whether the supervisors’ current term limits should be extended by two additional terms. As it stands, Antonovich will be termed out of office in 2016.
Antonovich spokesman Tony Bell said the voters should be able to keep the current board members longer, if they wish.
“This current board has a proven track record of fiscal responsibility and effective management that has kept the county solvent and able to meet its obligations,” Bell said. “With many municipalities in economic crisis, voters deserve the opportunity to choose who they feel is the most experienced and best qualified to navigate the county through tough times.”
Antonvich was elected in June 2012 to what would otherwise be his final term. He garnered more than 50 percent of the vote, bypassing a runoff for the four-year term that starts later this year.
In 2002, county voters limited supervisors to three consecutive four-year terms. The limit wasn’t retroactive; for Antonovich, the clock started ticking in 2004.
And he wouldn’t be the first to go. If the current term limits stand, board Chairman Zev Yaroslavsky and 1st District Supervisor Gloria Molina would be out in 2014.
If the board approves Antonovich’s motion Tuesday, county voters would again be asked to approve term limits – but this time it would be a five-term limit starting with the office holder’s first election in or after 2002, rather than a three-term limit starting in 2002.
Antonovich’s first election in or after 2002 was in 2004. Five four-year terms from 2004 would keep him in office until 2024, with voter assent every four years.
Tuesday’s motion calls for voters to make the decision Nov. 6, when they’re going to the polls anyway to vote for president.
If the voters approve, the change would be made through an amendment to the county’s charter. The full text of the proposed ballot question reads as follows: “Proposed Charter Amendment. Term Limits: Board of Supervisors. Limits any person elected to the office of the Board of Supervisors to five consecutive terms beginning on or after December 2002; except that, such limitation shall not apply to any unexpired term following a vacancy if the remainder of that term is less than one-half of the full term.”
In other words, if someone replaces a supervisor mid-term, and there’s less than 24 months remaining on the term, that interim period doesn’t count toward the new person’s term limit.
Antonovich was first elected supervisor in 1980 and has served the longest of any current board member. In Los Angeles County’s 160-year history, only one person, the late Kenneth Hahn, held the position longer.