Warren residents propose decreasing term limit to 12 years for mayoral position

Jim Fouts could remain Warren mayor for 20 years under current rules

WARREN, Mich. – In 2016, Warren voters extended term limits for the mayoral position, which would mean Mayor Jim Fouts could spend 20 years in office instead of the usual 12 if voters want to retain him.

On Monday night, the move is on to change the term limit to 12 years so it lines up with every other city official.

State law says there must be 4,905 signatures to put the proposal on the ballot, but the group supporting it said it will be turning in more than 7,000 signatures.

Jackie Marvin collected hundreds of signatures for the effort. She's been a vocal critic of Fouts since tapes of him recorded by city hall staff members leaked out and revealed disparaging comments he allegedly made about women, blacks and people with special needs.

Fouts denies it's his voice in the tapes despite authentification from outside experts.

All other elected officials in Warren are allowed to serve three four-years terms for a total of 12 years in office. The signatures being turned in Tuesday are asking for the mayor's term to be reduced to the same tenure.

After the city clerk vets the petitions, and if they pass, Warren voters would then be asked to say yes or no in November.

If it's voted down, Fouts can continue running for re-election until his 20 years are up. If it's approved, he would finish out this term and be done in 2019.

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