Update: Term Limits Case Decision Soon

Update:  The judge in the term limits case said she will rule soon.  The Sun-Sentinel’s post on Tuesday’s court action is here.



Downtown Fort Lauderdale powerbroker and attorney Bill Scherer is in the awkward position of having to help an enemy while he helps a friend.

Scherer will argue in court Tuesday that term limits for Broward County Commissioners are illegal.

If he is successful, two commissioners will get another chance to run —  his friend John Rodstrom and a commissioner he identifies as an enemy, Ilene  Lieberman.  

Otherwise, Rodstrom and Lieberman are termed out in 2012.

His challenge to Broward’s term limits law comes at the time when Scherer is one of the investors competing to build a $35 million parking garage at the courthouse.

Is he challenging the term limits law to curry favor with commissioners, who will chose the winner in the high-stakes battle to build the garage?

The fact that Lieberman’s commission career would be among the first saved — Scherer believes she is a sure vote against him — seems to negate that theory.  Scherer, of course, denies any connection.

The root of the friction between Scherer and Lieberman is money.  

Scherer was involved in a law suit several years ago with Lieberman’s husband Stuart Michelson over legal fees.  The suit was settled.

The argument to overturn Broward’s term limit law is simple:

The Florida Constitution states that the governor, the lieuntentant governor, the Cabinet and the Legislature have an eight-year term limit.    

Scherer contends that since the job of county commissioners is created by the constitution, if term limits apply to them it must be included in the constitution.  

“Under constitutional law, silence says volumes, Scherer says.  “If the constitution is silent, it is intended not to apply (to commissioners).

Commissioner term limits are a Broward county law. The county law is trumped by the constitution, the supreme law of the state, Scherer says.

Does Scherer’s argument make sense?

That’s up to a judge, or several judges.  If Scherer loses, he vows to appeal all the way to the Supremes.

Ironically, Scherer believes the county commission he is trying to keep in office is the worst he has ever seen.

“One is in jail, another is under indictment and several are under investigation, he points out.

It also should be noted that Scherer is a Republican activist and fund raiser going to bat for the all-Democratic commission.

But Scherer also believes that there are legal term limits for commissioners already in place.  They come every four years and they are called elections.

It is an argument he’ll make Tuesday.  It is an argument he has already lost at home.

Scherer says: “My wife and my kids think I’m wrong, (that) I should be working to save term limits.

12 Responses to “Update: Term Limits Case Decision Soon”

  1. GOPapa says:

    Voters can’t get rid of these corrupt jokers because they raise thousands in a campaign. Even qualified challengers like Chip LaMarca can’t raise a tenth of the money of the incumbents. What Scherer is doing will keep those incumbents in office for a generation and taxpayers will suffer.

  2. Yes for Term Limits says:

    Say NO to Rodstrom and Lieberman…they both have been downtown too long and don’t listen to the people. Now, Rodstrom wants to be the next Mayor after Keechl….hmmmmmm

  3. The fix is ALWAYS in says:

    I got a good chuckle from Mr. Scherer’s comment that elections in Broward amount to term limits.
    The ENTIRE County Commission is Democrat. The School Board will again be ALL Democrat. The Property Appraiser, Supervisor of Elections, Public Defender, State Attorney and Clerk of Courts are ALL Democrats.
    Lamberti is an anomaly.
    The Democratic party has a stranglehold on Broward politics, money and power.
    There are two ways to get rid of the crooks in Broward. One way is to indict them. Mr. Sherer wants to remove the second way.

  4. Politico says:

    I trust the electorate regarding term limits. The public is tired of the corruption with this County Commission. The powerbrokers, lobbyists, and their minions have had it their way far too long.

    I have to agree with Scherer, this County Commission is the worst I’ve seen in the past 30 years.

  5. Privacy 101 says:

    Term limits will be enforced by each corrupt Commissioner being led off to jail.

  6. Harold T says:

    Scherer should be ashamed of himself for trying to give Ilene Lieberman in particular another term in office. She is a arrogant, know-it-all BITCH who isw no doubt corrupt. Scherer should be showing her the door to the jail and not throwing her a life raft.

  7. Resident says:

    This may be a bold statement to make, but I am not sure that if Lieberman ran for re-election now she would win against a good opponent.

    She would be the incumbent, and have tons of money. The problem is whether she can escape the taint of all the negative publicity, plus her own promise to support term limits.

  8. Floridan says:

    Is Schere taking this case pro bono?

    If not, then he is a hired gun and his attitude whether or not term limits are a good idea is meaningless.

  9. Kevin says:

    Scherer’s argument is ridiculous. Broward County has a home rule charter. It can pass term limits just as easily as it can choose to have one of the constitutional officers (tax collector) appointed rather than elected. Either he does not understand basic constitutional construction in Florida, or this is sheer desperation. I could go on and on about this, but it would be boring.


  10. Floridan says:

    @Kevin, That’s for the court to decide; Home Rule is not a blank check.

    While I suspect that Schere will not prevail, it may not be as much a slam dunk as you imagine.

  11. Term Limits Stupid Anyway says:

    Term limits are stupid. By the time you actually figure out how to do the job right, you have to leave. Nowhere is that more clear than in Tallahassee. Why not establish term limits in the private sector? Medicine? Law? Doesn’t experience mean anything anymore? If a politician is not cutting the mustard you vote them out. If the power of incumbency is the issue in terms of their greater ability to raise campaign funds then what you have is a campaign financing problem. Fine, fix the problem where it exists. Deal with that problem instead. There is absolute value in having people in government that know what they’re doing and not so in a hurry to push through stuff that makes no sense just to show off and run for something else.

  12. Roy L. Fuchs says:

    Term-Limits, as voted on by the electorate of Broward County, will be upheld. There are term-limits elsewhere that have survived such challenges, and Scherer’s logic in this case is a stretch (silence speaks volumes?) whatever Bill.