Yes, the city is well-served by having the city councilors serve two-year terms. Having longer terms would not have prevented the lost of experience that the Thursday editorial in the Gazette-Times noted.
Since three councilors were able to serve for so long would indicate that two-year terms are not a problem in keeping people on the council. Two-year terms allow citizens to give meaningful feedback to the council more often than in other cities. It forces the community to have a discussion about issues. Finally, it allows students at Oregon State University to serve on the City Council. In the 1990s, Patrick Peters served several terms and was council president.
It is very easy to slip into a cocoon when on the council. You become isolated from the people who elected you unless you work at getting out among them. In the time I served on the council I noticed this experience and appreciated having to go back to my constituents every two years to see if they wanted me to continue. Was I making the right decisions? Where did they want me to focus my energies?
People who understand how the council works know how to communicate with the city effectively. However, many people do not have this knowledge. The two-year terms give them the opportunity to let their voice be heard.
Corvallis (Jan. 3)