Measure Y passes, mandating school board term limit

Nisha McNealis, Managing Editor

Palo Alto voted to pass Measure Y on Tuesday by nearly 7,000 votes, restricting Palo Alto Unified School District Board of Education members to two terms in office.

Over 72 percent of voters supported the measure, which will limit school board members to two consecutive terms in office. The two-term limit is standard in state and national government, including the Palo Alto City Council.

“I assumed school board term limits already existed,” senior Paloma Mitra said. “I guess not.”

More than 72 percent of Palo Alto voters were in favor of Measure Y in Tuesday’s election. Graphic: Nisha McNealis

Most current school board members voiced their support of the measure at a board meeting on Jan. 16, with Todd Collins praising term limits as a way to encourage turnover in government. Only Melissa Baten Caswell, who is currently serving her third term, opposed the idea of term limits for board members.

In recent years, two candidates — Caswell and 2012 candidate Camille Townsend — have taken advantage of the lack of a term limit, with both winning re-election after serving eight years in office.