Bloomberg Signs Term Limits Bill
November 3rd, 2008

After four and half hours of testimony, Mayor Michael Bloomberg made an extension of term limits official this afternoon by signing a bill that extends the city’s two-term cap to three.

The bill takes effect immediately.

Bloomberg said he had thought “long and hard” about the term limit extension and determined three terms just make “more sense.” He reiterated his pledge to form a City Charter Revision Commission after the 2009 citywide race (that is, if he is reelected), which would be charged with looking into the term limits issue, potentially sending it back to voters.

“There is no easy answer and no one is irreplaceable,” said Bloomberg. “I just think three terms makes more sense than two.”

Out of 137 speakers, according to a spokesman for the administration, 68 were against the bill, 65 were for it and four had unclear positions. Speakers, both members of the public and officeholders, were filed into the mayor’s press briefing room (otherwise known as the Blue Room) in groups of five. They were led out after speaking.

The scores of people who came out this morning and this afternoon were not allowed to stay in the room after they spoke due to capacity issues.

The hearing was full of passion and politics. Some who criticized the bill were not only impassioned against the extension, but also against the mayor himself. One speaker, who described himself as a former CUNY student who had to leave the school because of budget cuts, called Bloomberg “public enemy number one.”

The mayor was flanked by councilmembers Thomas White, Robert Jackson, Domenic Recchia, Kendall Stewart, Larry Seabrook and Simcha Felder. Christine Quinn was absent. Following the hearing, Quinn’s communication director said she doesnt attend bill signings unless it’s her legislation.

The bill signing ceremony was out of the ordinary — they normally occur far more quickly, because members of the public would rarely show up for the hearing portion of the process.

During compliments and chastisement, the mayor was primarily stone-faced. He would only let out an occasional smile when someone congratulated him on his “successful” tenure or suggested he should run for president.

By on November 3, 2008, 4:48 pm
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