Term limits for municipal council members should be debated as to its merits and flaws. In the first of three articles, Leo F. Longo stops short of making a recommendation, and instead provides a historical summary of changes to term limits in Ontario. If we take instead the view of the Association of Municipalities in Ontario (AMO), there may be a clear case to be made that there would be measured public support for legislating four-year terms. 
Initially, council members were only elected for a single-year term, changing in Ontario in 1906 to permit a two-year term. This again was changed in 1944 to allow a staggered election whereby half the council members’ term would expire. At this time, there was still a heavy preference or preponderance for single-year terms, and there was no province-wide cohesion on this issue until 1972 with the Municipal Elections Act when two-year terms were standardized across the province. By 1982, some municipalities moved to three-year terms, while most remained with the 1972 legislation until 2006 when four-year terms were introduced.
Benefits of moving to longer terms include:
Sufficient time to develop and implement an agenda, and to obtain public feedback to evaluate its effectiveness. This prevents too much “mission creep” or discontinuity of purpose.
Drawbacks would include:
* Voters being “stuck” with an ineffective council that cannot generate consensus around an agenda. This is especially the case in ward-centric municipalities that have been amalgamated, and lack a municipality-wide view.
Given that municipal councils are not organized political parties, this may pose a difficulty in providing “follow-through and continuity [and so] a turnover of councillors following an election can bring a marked break in momentum or shift in emphasis.”
Sources and Notes
 In Longo, L. (2014). Term Limits for Municipal Council Members: Part One: Length of Council Terms. Municipal World, April: 13-15. It should be noted that the AMO background paper found a discrepancy between respondents on this question, pending if they were rural or urban residents. Also, four-year term limits were established as of 2006.