TEA Party Wants Stricter Term Limits in Midland

Cierra Putman
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - The Midland City Council already has term limits set in place, but the TEA party says they're not strict enough, so they're working to give the current limits more teeth.

Midland TEA Party Executive Director Mike Lopez is on a mission to make the City Council limits more strict.

"Currently in the city charter people are allowed to run three times, switch districts and run three more terms and even run for Mayor and run three more additional terms," Lopez said.

If the TEA Party has it's way, it would change the city charter so politicians can only serve three consecutive terms no matter the position. After nine years of service, if they want to run again, they'll have to wait three more terms.

"Hopefully we can get some fresh faces," Lopez said. "Some people think 'I can't run. I'll never win.' If we can dispel that myth, hopefully, we can compel other people to run. People who are not career politicians. Hopefully we can get something going."

Current At Large City Councilman and former District 3 Representative Scott Dufford says he supports term limits, but since Midland already has them he thinks the Midland TEA Party is wasting their time.

"It won't bother me one way or the other," he said. "I just think they're being short sighted. I think they should set their sights on bigger fish. Bigger career politicians that actually make a living off the tax payer."

He says the TEA Party should turn their gaze toward members of the Commissioners Court and state legislature where there are no term limits in place.

"After we win this battle, we're going after county," Lopez said.

The group says hot button issues like the Blue Ridge Apartments debacle, an increase in taxes and others is why they're targeting the Council first.

While Dufford says he thinks the move is unnecessary, he doesn't think changing the charter will hurt the city.

"At the end of the day, I think the Mayor said it best, I don't think it prohibits the city from getting good people to serve," Dufford said.

The Midland TEA Party says it plans to first ask the City Council to update the limits on its own, but they say if that doesn't work, they'll take the issue to the polls and let the voters decide.