The Swarm

Mix it up with The Bee's editorial board.

November 19, 2010
Loomis term limits measure headed to court

The worst-case scenario in Loomis has come to pass, so it looks the courts will have to fix it.

On Nov. 2, voters approved Measure A, which will limit Town Council members to two consecutive four-year terms. But it was written in a way that it would make ineligible for re-election anyone who had already served two or more consecutive terms as of Aug. 1.

Final election results this week confirmed that Walt Scherer and Miguel Ucovich - each seeking their fourth term in a row - also won on Nov. 2, even though they both opposed Measure A. The final returns showed that Ucovich finished third in the race for three seats by only three votes, when it looked like he would finish out of the running.

So barring some court action, the two incumbents could immediately have to give up their seats if they are sworn in Dec. 14. That was a primary reason why The Bee's editorial board opposed the initiative, along with the belief that the will of voters is the ultimate term limit. Supporters, however, said term limits would increase voter clout and would "invigorate" the town.

The Loomis Town Council voted Nov. 9 to ask the courts to resolve the issue.

Town Attorney David Larsen, who had warned that such retroactive term limits are unconstitutional, is working on a motion for a preliminary injunction to allow Scherer and Ucovich to take their seats until the courts fix the mess. He said today that he plans to file the motion the week after next in Placer County Superior Court.

Measure A opponents, meanwhile, are saying that the election results "make it more obvious than ever that town government had absolutely no legal choice but to seek clarification from the courts."

In their statement today, the opponents' committee also called for healing the divisions caused by the measure: "The other side's ballot measure won, and our candidates won, so both sides have a lot to celebrate."

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About The Swarm

The Swarm is written by members of The Sacramento Bee's editorial board. They meet daily and are separate from the newsroom. Views included here are those of individual writers, and do not necessarily reflect those of a majority of the board or the positions expressed in The Bee's editorials.

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