Let me spare you the details of a hearing that lasted more than three hours Thursday afternoon, and just say this:
Voters won't be voting in November on county officials' term limits.
It's pretty clear after hours of wrangling over whether the November 2010 ballot measures on term limits were deceptive or not, that (at least three) commissioners aren't of a mind to spend money on an election to give voters a do-over this year.
At issue are measures that gave elected officials a third, four-year term by asking if they should be "limited" to three terms, rather than asking if terms should be extended. Many voters have said they felt deceived.
Thursday, two versions of a possible ballot measure for the 2012 presidential election emerged. One would restrict county elected officials — commissioners, assessor, treasurer and clerk and recorder — to two terms, rather than the three approved by voters last fall.
The other would do the same thing, except it would exclude all current office-holders from seeking a third term next year. Commissioners Sallie Clark and Dennis Hisey are both in their second terms and under the current order of things could seek a third term.
In a nutshell, new Commissioners Darryl Glenn and Peggy Littleton, who took office in January, support the exclusionary version, while Clark and Commission Chair Amy Lathen support the first version. Hisey didn't disclose his preference.
At one point, Lathen and local radio personality and Republican political operative Jeff Crank went at it over who's calling who deceptive, and there seemed to be hurt feelings all around.
But Glenn later said, "I don't want the take away that we're some dysfunctional body. We fight like family," and then move on.
When the meeting broke up at 5:30 p.m., it appeared both versions would come back to commissioners next week, possibly as a measure to certify to the 2012 ballot.