The leader of an effort to establish term limits for the Alameda County Board of Supervisors says he is withdrawing the initiative because his involvement in the campaign has become its focus. Long-time East Bay Municipal Utilities District Board Director Frank Mellon said on Facebook this week that he pulled the plug on the proposal, “because I became a lightning-rod on the initiative.”
Detractors of the initiative claimed hypocrisy, because it would not have applied to the East Bay MUD board, and charged Mellon with harboring an interest to run for the board of supervisors, Mellon said.
The proposal, submitted to the Alameda County Registrar’s Office in July
, sought to limit county supervisors to three, four-year terms. The government body currently has no terms limits and has historically been somewhat dynastic in its composition. No sitting member of the board has been defeated since 1992. Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty has served since 1998, but has never even faced a challenger for his seat.
Mellon said applying terms limits to the EBMUD board would require state legislative action, because the agency is covered by the Municipal Utility District Act, which includes four other districts. “No amount of explaining could convince detractors of this fact,” said Mellon.
Others, according to Mellon, speculated that his true intention was to run for District Four Supervisor Nate Miley’s seat. Mellon is a resident of Castro Valley. Mellon categorically denies the assertion. “But, that wasn’t believed either,” he added. “Therefore, rather than making me the issue, which would stifle debate on term limits for Alameda County Supervisors, I withdrew the initiative.”
Mellon, however, said he open to passing the mantle for term limits, and the work already done, to others.