There's no bill yet but at least one Baltimore County councilmember says he's not immediately supportive of the concept of term limits for the County Council.
"I'm not inclined to support that," said Councilman Tom Quirk, a freshman Democrat from Catonsvile.
Term limits are likely to go from a concept to an actual bill some time in early 2012.
Councilman David Marks, a freshman Republican from Perry Hall, said Monday that he plans to make good on a campaign promise and sponsor such a bill. The bill would likely limit councilmembers to three terms beginning with members elected in 2014.
Because the change requires amending the County Charter, five of the seven councilmembers would need to vote in favor of the bill. Voters would then need to approve the change.
Currently, county law limits the county executive to two terms.
"I'm supportive of term limits for the executive branch," said Quirk, adding that he supports those limits "because of the concentration of power in the executive branch. On the council, you're one of seven members."
Quirk said changes made last year to the county pension system removes the idea that councilmembers stay on as a way enriching themselves. The council changed the system to cap the maximum pension for council members at 60 percent of their highest salary after three terms.
Prior to the change, members earned 5 percent of their highest salary per year. Former Councilman Vince Gardina drew attention to the system in 2010 after he completed five terms and became eligible for 100 percent of his $54,000 annual salary. Gardina was the first and only councilman to be elected to five terms.
Quirk said he was keeping an open mind but questioned the need for term limits on councilmembers.
"Ever four years the voters get a chance to decide if someone deserves to keep the job," Quirk said. "The voters are the ultimate term limit."