Term Length



NCLGA Executive Recommendation: Do Not Endorse


WHEREAS some local government jurisdictions find it difficult to attract candidates to run for public office and to retain them for a four-year term;

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that UBCM work with the Province to investigate allowing each local government to choose the length of term of office to be two, three or four years.


Elected local government officials have served under at least four different term lengths over the years.  We are now in the third year of the first 4 year term.  Before 2013, there were 3-year terms.  Prior to 3 years, there were 2 year terms, all elected at the same time.  Before that, terms were two years, but were staggered, with a mayor and half of Council elected one year, and the other half of council elected the following year.

British Columbia is a very diverse province.  Local government jurisdictions are of widely different geographic area, population number, demographics, economy and wealth.  Some find the 4-year term beneficial, as Councils have longer to plan and complete projects.  Others have difficulty find candidates willing to make a four-year commitment.

Perhaps it is a case of “one size does not fit all.”  The purpose of the resolution is to examine the implications of allowing each local government jurisdiction to choose the length of term that best suits its unique needs.

NCLGA Board Recommendation: Not Endorse because past discussion has happened already for this, same argument used for pro’s and cons, it is a new standard, need to give it a chance to see how it will work.


UBCM Comments:

The UBCM membership has not previously considered a resolution asking the provincial government to investigate “allowing each local government to choose the length of term of office to be two, three or four years.”

UBCM members endorsed resolution 2013-B94, which called on the provincial government to “increase the interval between civic elections from three years to four years.”

North Central Local Government Association