I believe suspended Lexington County Sheriff James Metts and former House Speaker Bobby Harrell to be fundamentally good people. But both high-profile, long-serving public officials have been disgraced over run-ins with the law.
As we all have heard, power corrupts. And so it tends to be with people who serve in public office for unusually extended periods. Acting Speaker Jay Lucas has called for term limits for the that position. His call should be extended to all statewide elected offices. Officials who remain too long in office develop relationships that ultimately benefit those officials, their families and friends; they tend to break the law. These tendencies stem from their feelings of entitlement and power.
Limiting terms in office can dissolve these relationships, and the new official must begin the process of forging new bonds. There’s at letdown some popular, honest, effective official leaves office. However, all efforts to deter crime has its costs, monetary and otherwise.
On balance, term limits would be worthwhile to the officials, their families and friends and the citizens.