COVINGTON, Ga. - The Covington City Council had a split consensus on the discussion of term limits for councilmembers Thursday night during its work session.
Councilman Kenneth Morgan said term limits was something he would like to see to allow for different eyes, different people and different ideas on the board. Along with him, Councilman Chris Smith and Councilman Michael Whatley agreed on adding a three-term limit to councilmembers.
Whatley, who has been on the council since 2000, said he had changed his mind on the subject several times before coming to his decision.
The three-term limit was decided on because after 10 years of service, councilmembers qualify for retirement benefits.
Smith said he questioned what good was coming out of the council seat after a certain period of time.
Councilman Josh McKelvey said he was for term limits if councilmember retirement benefits were removed. However, all of the other councilmembers were opposed to removing the retirement benefits, and therefore McKelvey was opposed to term limits.
“If people don’t want you back, they can vote you out,” Councilwoman Hawnethia Williams said.
Councilwoman Ocie Franklin echoed Williams and was opposed to term limits. She encouraged the voters to use their voice instead of setting the limitations.
Mayor Ronnie Johnston, who broke the tie in the consensus, said he could see both sides of the issues. From the political point of view, he was in favor of term limits, however he said he was in favor of consistency and term limits would prevent that.