Some Apopka residents begin push for term limits

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APOPKA. Fla. —

Some Apopka residents are pushing for a change in just how long their local elected officials can remain in office.

When John Land was first elected mayor of Apopka, Harry Truman was president. Except for a two year hiatus, Land has been mayor ever since.

When Apopka City Commissioner Bill Arrowsmith was first sworn in, Jimmy Carter was in the middle of his term as president.

"We need fresh ideas. We need fresh approaches to our city issues, to our city problems," said Barb Zakszewski, an advocate of term limits.

Commissioners Billie Dean and Marilyn McQueen have been on the board for more than 35 years combined.

Now the city is considering making changes to its governing charter.

"The general feeling in the city is, you're not going to get anything done as long as the incumbents stay in office," said Zakszewski.

During a series of public meetings citizens can suggest their ideas.

Arrowsmith said he doesn't think term limits are a good idea.

"I feel like the voters determine what your term will be. I've been through several elections and I've won some and I've lost some, and when the voters are happy with you they're going to elect you back into office and when they're not happy with you, you won't return," said Arrowsmith.

After the public meetings are complete, it will be up to commissioners to decide if the issue of term limits makes it to a ballot.

Arrowsmith said that if there is enough support he would agree to let voters decide.