Yesterday was the deadline for Robin Ficker to submit signatures in support of his MoCo charter amendment petition, and he delivered what he claimed to be 18,000 signatures to the County Executive’s office – 10,000 valid signatures are required. Bethesda Magazine was there:
Local activist Robin Ficker on Monday submitted a petition with what he claims are more than 18,000 signatures in favor of adding a term-limit question to the November ballot.
Flanked by reporters, Ficker hauled a heavy box filled with petitions to the second floor offices of County Executive Ike Leggett in Rockville.
If the county’s Board of Elections verifies the signatures, the petition would place a question on the November ballot that would enable voters to decide if the county executive and County Council members should be limited to three consecutive terms. A minimum of 10,000 signatures is required to place a question on the ballot.
If a majority of voters support term limits, it would prohibit at least four and as many as five council members, as well as Leggett from running for re-election in 2018.
The county’s Board of Elections now has 20 days to determine the validity of Ficker’s signatures, and to make a determination as to whether the measure will go on the November ballot. Anyone wishing to challenge the legal sufficiency of the petition (been there, done that, twice) would then have 10 days to file an action in Circuit Court in Rockville, which would hear the matter on an extremely compressed schedule, as the election is 91 days from today.
There was a bit of drama when Ficker brought a gaggle of reporters with him to drop off the signatures. When a county employee emerged–later identified as former County Council member Michael Subin–from behind a glass wall to pick up the box, he demanded the media take no pictures of him. A reporter for The Washington Post responded that it was a public building and the employee just walked into the middle of an obvious press event. Subin then asked if a secretary would call security. However, security wasn’t called and the box was left for a county attorney to pick up.