Comments on a Third Term (UPDATE)
September 30th, 2008

This just in from the office of Councilmember John Liu:

“Council Member John Liu has long defended the will of the people as expressed through past public referenda. New Yorkers have voted twice before to limit office-holders to eight years. Regrettably, Mayor Michael Bloomberg now appears to favor changing the term limits without putting the question before the voters again. Although John does not support the concept of term limits, he certainly cannot and will not support the Mayor pushing this through. Times are tough but so are New Yorkers. And New York is a lot bigger than one man.”

And this from Pubic Advocate Betsy Gotbaum:

“I cannot support extending term limits by anything other than a public vote. It’s up to the people of New York to decide how long they want their elected officials in office, and they’ve already told us twice. It’s an insult to the democratic process and a slap in the face to New Yorkers to now render those votes meaningless.

“What matters here is what New Yorkers think and say on this issue, not what one powerful cosmetics heir has to say. The rules can not and should not be changed late in the game. That’s not the way our democracy works.

“This is a decision for the people; not for incumbents, not for editorial boards and not for a few wealthy and powerful individuals.”

And this from Comptroller William Thompson:

“First and foremost, the will of the people should not be ignored. I am opposed to any extension of term limits by legislative fiat. The voters have spoken twice, and an attempt to disregard their voice sends a message that democracy has taken a back seat.

“While the details of the plan are still unclear, it would be wrong for the City Council to pass self-serving legislation that extends their term in office by four more years. Any attempt to change term limits must be done by voter referendum. A backdoor deal undermines the will of New Yorkers.

“New York City can and will survive when leadership changes. We have faced fiscal crises before, and a number of new leaders stepped into office only a few months after the September 11th attacks, when New York Citys economy was in a downward spiral. Democracy is bigger than any one person.”

And from Councilmember Bill de Blasio:

“While it’s true that we are facing difficult economic times and that Mayor Bloomberg has been a very capable leader, it is up to the people of New York City to decide if we are going to make a wholesale change in our electoral system. Our current term limits law should not be changed at this point except by popular referendum,” said Councilmember Bill de Blasio.

De Blasio added, “Even after September 11, 2001 when then-mayor Rudy Giuliani proposed extending his own term, the people of this city overwhelming opposed changing our election system and schedule. There is little doubt that that was the gravest crisis this city has ever faced, and yet the citizens of New York City believed in the strength of our institutions and knew that new leadership would emerge. As has often been noted, American democracy is based on the idea that ours is a government of laws, not of men or women. This issue must be brought to the people.”

By on September 30, 2008, 4:28 pm
In category: Gotham City | 4 Comments »

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4 Responses to “Comments on a Third Term (UPDATE)”

  1. Brown Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 7:33 pm

    If you agree sign the petition at the New York Term limits web-site. Along with voicing your opinion in support of keeping the law its a way for staying organized.

  2. Mariano Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Bloomberg claims that only someone with his private financial experience can shepard the city through these tough times. But let’s not forget it was a bunch of guys just like him who got us into this big mess.

  3. Roody Toody Says:
    September 30th, 2008 at 10:38 pm

    Giuliani wanted to extend his term without an election. BIG difference. Bloomie will still have to run and face the will of the voters.

  4. Arun Says:
    October 1st, 2008 at 6:49 pm

    The thing is, doesn’t the term limits law currently ALLOW a third term — just not consecutive? That means Rudy Giuliani could run for re-elections, regardless of whether the law is changed or not.

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