City Council president proposes eliminating ‘resign-to-run’ law

PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke is reviving a measure that would change the charter to allow council members to keep their seats while they run for other offices.

Voters have twice defeated attempts to eliminate the “resign-to-run” rule, which requires council members to give up their seats to run for mayor or another office. It’s very likely that the law has prevented Clarke from running for mayor.

However, he’s giving it another try, and this time, he's tying it to term limits. 

Last week, Councilmember Allan Domb proposed term limits for council members. Clarke followed up in this week's session with a bill that would impose term limits on city commissioners, the sheriff — and for the resign-to-run bill.

“There is this hue and cry for term limits, so I thought the consolidation of those two issues might actually get some traction,” Clarke said. He'd only support term limits if resign-to-run is eliminated.

“If that is enacted, I am prepared to possibly — and I say possibly — support a five-term limit. But not one without the other.”

Ultimately, it will be up to voters to decide on both issues.

Also in this week's session, council approved a resolution to hire an attorney to pursue a lawsuit against the state, seeking the right for Philadelphia to enforce stricter gun laws within the city limits, such as mandatory reporting of lost or stolen guns.