News Ticker

Hefner to propose term limits on commissioners

Mt. Juliet City Commissioner Scott Hefner is proposing a dramatic shift to how long commissioners can serve the city.
Hefner said recently that he will be proposing term limits at the July 12 meeting. He doesn’t want the commissioners to vote on it, he wants to send it to a referendum so the people can have their say on it.
“We’ll find out who really wants to hear from their constituents and who doesn’t,” said Commissioner Hefner. “I think this will be well-received.”
Hefner is proposing to only allow two consecutive, 4-year terms for all elected positions in the city, including the Mayor, starting in 2022. That will be the next time commissioners are up for election when District 2 Commissioner Bill Trivett and District 4 Commissioner Jennifer Milele will have to run again. It also prevents commissioners from moving district to district to keep running. He said that Trivett and Milele would still have the ability to run the two terms if they are elected because it wouldn’t start until that election. He said he is up for election again in 2024, and if he chose to run again and was elected, he would make that his last term.
“That will be my last term,” said Hefner. “I’m going to live by my own words.”
Trivett is co-sponsoring Hefner’s attempt to introduce term limits. Four commissioners would have to vote to send it to referendum. Hefner said he is pretty sure that one commissioner will vote no. Hefner said that for those that will vote no, he wants them to tell their constituents at the meeting why they don’t want them to make that decision.
Hefner believes two terms is plenty of time to serve the city and get done what a commissioner would like to get done.
“If you can’t get it done in eight years, you need to move on,” said Hefner.
He said it also frees up spaces for new voices to come into the city government. He said he met a lot of intelligent people when he was running for his seat, and there are some barriers for some of them to be able to serve. He said the term limits itself is an issue, but also because it is extremely hard to run against an incumbent. When Hefner was running for his spot, he had to put his own money into his campaign, and a lot of people don’t have that luxury. He said the City is possibly missing out on some big ideas.
Hefner also said that even though someone can’t serve on the Board of Commissioners any longer, there are plenty of opportunities to serve the city and county. He said commissioners can try to serve on the Wilson County Commission, Wilson County School Board, Tennessee State Legislature, or many other boards and organizations.
The Board of Commissioners next meeting will be Monday, July 12 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall. Hefner encourages citizens to come to the meeting to show their support or opposition to term limits or any city matter. You can also watch the meeting through the city’s website or their YouTube channel.