It appears Whitehall voters will not be asked for a third time whether to lift term limits, but to lengthen them instead.
"It will give (voters) a different option," Whitehall City Councilman Wes Kantor said.
Whitehall City Council is scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 10, at Whitehall City Hall, 360 S. Yearling Road, and expected to approve legislation for the placement of three charter-amendment issues on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Council voted 6-1 on June 19, with Councilman Bob Bailey dissenting, to indefinitely table -- effectively killing -- an ordinance that would have asked voters for a third time to rescind the two-term limit for elected officials that voters put in place 25 years ago.
Instead, council members are expected to approve placement of a charter-amendment issue that, if approved, would allow elected officials to serve three terms in the same office before being forced out.
Term limits were instituted in 1993 for the mayor, auditor, law director, council president and members of council, gaining voter approval after the death of John Bishop, who died in office after serving as mayor from 1972-93.
"My constituents have told me they want to vote on this," said Kantor, an at-large councilman.
"Our residents have said 'no' twice to lift term limits," he added, so proposing an increase to three terms provides an alternative.
Councilman Bob Bailey said he voted against tabling the ordinance to remove term limits altogether because he wanted council to consider voting on it.
While it was impossible for both term-limit models to advance to the ballot, Bailey said he wanted council to consider both models.
He would have preferred, he said, for the charter review commission to have made that determination and recommend only one model to council.
The five-member charter review commission met four times between Feb. 26 and April 9 to review the 86-section city charter and make recommendations to City Council.
"Our commission worked hard and did their homework, and I support their recommendations," Kantor said.
The other two charter amendments would create a gender-neutral charter by removing masculine pronouns and references found throughout, and change the line of succession for mayor.
Currently, if the mayor leaves office for any reason, the council president is next in line, followed by the service director.
Because the service director is neither elected nor required to reside in Whitehall, the charter review commission recommended the service director be removed from the line of succession, said Council President Jim Graham.
Instead, a member of City Council would be second in line to succeed the mayor.
Bailey would not say in advance which charter-amendment proposals he favors, but added the "commission deserves the honor" and "council has the obligation" to advance the issues to the ballot.
In 2013, the last time the charter was reviewed, the commission suggested and City Council approved the placement of a ballot issue to lift term limits.
It failed, with 62.5 percent voters rejecting the issue.
Voters also rejected a ballot issue to rescind term limits in 2002.
Council members have the final determination to accept any, all or none of the commission's recommendations, but are expected July 10 to approve the three charter-amendment issues, each of which would appear as separate ballot issues Nov. 6.
The filing deadline is Aug. 8 at the Franklin County Board of Elections for any issue to appear on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.