Matt talks about term limits:
It really does seem a bit odd that a mayor with a 67 percent approval rating should be forced from office because of a term limits law. I suppose I understand the theory that presidential-level term limits serve as a check on tyranny, but there doesn’t seem to me to be a good reason to worry about that at the local level of government.
Term limits in Ohio actually helped created a great racket for the continuation of legislative political machines – State Representatives and Senators are term-limited to eight consecutive years of service (one can serve eight years, go away, and run again and serve another eight years). What happens far too often is that a soon-to-be-term-limited official “retires” a few months early, allowing a successor in the same party to take over the seat in a low-information, low-turnout election and run as an effective incumbent in November. It doesn’t get new, fresh faces in office – it simply gets handpicked, identical politicians in gerrymandered seats. It’s worse than lifelong incumbency, in a way, because it allows political parties to game elections in order to ensure the results they want. It also tends to ensure that you get a lot of politicians who are simply biding time for their next job rather than doing the current one.
Legislatures and executives are different, however; I can see the case for executive term limits a lot more easily than I can legislative limits, particularly given the scope of power executives have over appointments and administration.