Westfield Mayor Andy Cook recently vetoed an ordinance setting term limits for the positions of mayor, city councilor and clerk-treasurer. The issue hasn’t been raised in Carmel, but if it were, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said he would be decidedly against it, too.
Cook, who is in his fourth term, vetoed the ordinance because he believes it conflicts with state law, which does not set parameters on how long an elected official in a municipality can serve. The council, however, voted to override Cook’s veto.
Brainard, who worked as an attorney before becoming mayor of Carmel in 1996, said he agrees with some Westfield officials and other experts that the ordinance might be challenged in court. But, more importantly, he believes term limits should be set by voters on Election Day.
“I’m in total disagreement with the Westfield City Council on this,” Brainard said. “They are taking away the ability of the voters of Westfield to decide who they want for mayor and city council.”
Brainard is the longest-serving mayor in Carmel history. He is nearing the end of his seventh term and announced in September that he will not run for office again.
“(Voters) could’ve thrown me out after two terms, or one term, or three, four, five or six terms. They chose not to, but they had the right to make that decision,” Brainard said. “Why should the city council take that away from the voters?”
Many state- and county-level elected positions in Indiana are restricted by term limits. Brainard said he does not believe term limits should apply to those offices, either.