Voters say no to Grapevine term limits

Posted 10 p.m.

Just over 60 percent of Grapevine voters turned down a charter amendment for term limits for the city's elected officials Tuesday, according to unofficial totals from the Tarrant County Election Administration.

"They wanted the vote of the people and the people spoke pretty loud," said Mayor William D. Tate. "I think what they said was that we like our community the way it is."

The City Council called the charter election in February in response to a petition drive that gathered more than enough valid signatures to put term limits on the ballot.

"Hopefully these people who have been so critical of the people that have worked so hard for so many years to help give us a community we're all proud of will stop criticizing the people that have done that and join the army of volunteers that every day keep making the community better," Tate said.

A total of 61.7 percent voted against term limits, with 38.3 against. Of registered voters, 11.9 percent particpated in the election.

Former council candidate Kathleen Thompson created the organization Better Grapevine to collect the petition signatures to get the question on the ballot.

After an unsuccessful run for council against council member Roy Stewart in 2011, she was approached by Northeast Tarrant Tea Party president Julie McCarty about helping advocate for term limits.

Tate was first elected to the City Council in 1972, and has been mayor since 1973 except for a term off from 1985 to 1988.

The average length of service on the council is 18.5 years.

Sharron Spencer and Shane Wilbanks have served since 1985; Stewart since 1996; and Darlene Freed, who was re-elected Tuesday, since 1998. Chris Coy was elected in 2008 and Mike Lease, who was re-elected Tuesday, first took office in 2007.

Elsewhere in the area, the cities of Colleyville and Southlake, and the Grapevine-Colleyville ISD called off their elections this year for lack of opposition.

All results are unofficial until canvassed.


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