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Westfield approves term limits for elected officials over mayor’s veto

WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — The Westfield City Council has approved an ordinance adding term limits for elected city officials, overriding the mayor’s veto.

The council voted 5-2 Monday night to override Mayor Andy Cook’s veto, his first veto in 15 years in office.

The measure limits the mayor and council members to two consecutive terms in office. The city clerk/treasurer will be limited to three consecutive four-year terms.

“Let me be clear that the reason that I elected to veto was not based on the merits of term limits,” Cook said during a Tuesday news conference. “It is solely based on the legality of such.”

Cook cited opinions from a law firm and the co-chair of the Indiana Election Division that state only the General Assembly can set term limits on local elections.

Councilman Troy Patton said he consulted with state election officials and found there is nothing in state law explicitly barring a municipality from implementing term limits.

“The election division’s interpretation is municipalities should not, but likely still can limit elections by setting term limits,” said Patton.

The new limits would take effect in 2024, after next year’s election.

Cook, who is serving his fourth term as mayor of Westfield, says he has not made a decision on whether he will seek another term in next year’s election.

The limits approved Monday would not include any terms served prior to Jan. 1, 2024.