GOTHAM GAZETTE: SEARCHLIGHT 2002: City Council JUMP TO YOUR DISTRICT
 
 


WHEN THEIR TIME IS UP

The new City Council has been in office only a few months and term limits, which enabled many of them to get their new jobs, is already under discussion once again. At issue, says Councilmember Bill Perkins, is a quirk in the law that would force him and seven other current council members to leave office in 2003, after serving six years instead of the usual eight. (The other seven are Margarita Lopez, Gifford Miller, Philip Reed, Madeline Provenzano, Angel Rodriguez, Tracy Boyland, and Martin Golden.)

To make the situation even more complicated, while term limits restricts eight members to six years, four current members (Christine Quinn, Eva Moskowitz, Michael Nelson, and James Oddo) will be able to serve ten consecutive years if they continue to be elected. (For a more detailed discussion of the details of term limits law, see below.)
Borough Dist. Member Party Elected Can't Run
Manhattan 1 Alan J. Gerson DEM 2001 2009
Manhattan 2 Margarita Lopez DEM 1997 2003
Manhattan 3 Christine Quinn DEM 1999 2009
Manhattan 4 Eva S. Moskowitz DEM 1999 2009
Manhattan 5 Gifford Miller DEM 1996 2003
Manhattan 6 Gale A. Brewer DEM 2001 2009
Manhattan 7 Robert Jackson DEM 2001 2009
Manhattan 8 Philip Reed DEM 1997 2003
Manhattan 9 Bill Perkins DEM 1997 2003
Manhattan 10 Miguel Martinez DEM 2001 2009
Bronx 11 G. Oliver Koppell DEM 2001 2009
Bronx 12 Larry B. Seabrook DEM 2001 2009
Bronx 13 Madeline Provenzano DEM 1997 2003
Bronx 14 Maria Baez DEM 2001 2009
Bronx 15 Joel Rivera DEM 2001 2009
Bronx 16 Helen D. Foster DEM 2001 2009
Bronx 17 Jose M. Serrano DEM 2001 2009
Bronx 18 Ruben Diaz DEM 2001 2009
Queens 19 Tony Avella DEM 2001 2009
Queens 20 John C. Liu DEM 2001 2009
Queens 21 Hiram Monserrate DEM 2001 2009
Queens 22 Peter F. Vallone Jr. DEM 2001 2009
Queens 23 David I. Weprin DEM 2001 2009
Queens 24 James F. Gennaro DEM 2001 2009
Queens 25 Helen Sears DEM 2001 2009
Queens 26 Eric N. Gioia DEM 2001 2009
Queens 27 Leroy G. Comrie DEM 2001 2009
Queens 28 Allan W. Jennings DEM 2001 2009
Queens 29 Melinda R. Katz DEM 2001 2009
Queens 30 Dennis P. Gallagher REP 2001 2009
Queens 31 James Sanders DEM 2001 2009
Queens 32 Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr. DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 33 David Yassky DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 34 Diana Reyna DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 35 James E. Davis DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 36 Albert Vann DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 37 Erik Martin Dilan DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 38 Angel Rodriguez DEM 1997 2003
Brooklyn 39 Bill DeBlasio DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 40 Yvette D. Clarke DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 41 Tracy Boyland DEM 1997 2003
Brooklyn 42 Charles Barron DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 43 Martin J. Golden REP 1997 2003
Brooklyn 44 Simcha Felder DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 45 Kendall B. Stewart DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 46 Lewis A. Fidler DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 47 Domenic M. Recchia DEM 2001 2009
Brooklyn 48 Michael Nelson DEM 1999 2009
Staten Island 49 Michael E. McMahon DEM 2001 2009
Staten Island 50 James S. Oddo REP 1999 2009
Staten Island 51 Andrew J. Lanza REP 2001 2009


The term limits law allows each member to serve two consecutive full terms, one of which must be a four-year term. That seemingly straightforward idea is complicated by redistricting. After the 2000 Census, the 51 council districts must be redrawn to reflect population shifts. Because there was not sufficient time to do this prior to the 2001 elections, the current council term is for two years only. All council seats will be up for election in 2003, and then another election, this time for a four-year term, will be held in 2005.

Further complicating the issue are four members elected in 1999, which was not a regular election year for council members. The elections held then were to fill vacancies. As a result, the years from 1999 to 2001 do not count as a full term. The 2001-2003 and 2003-2005 terms both count as two two-year terms, allowing the members to seek their one full term in 2005 and, if successful to service for 10 years.

To recap:

(1) Council members elected in 1997 and reelected in 2001 can serve only six consecutive years.

(2) Council members first elected in 2001 and reelected in 2003 can run for a full four-year term in 2005 and serve eight straight years.

(3) Council members first elected in 2003 and reelected for a full four-year term in 2005 can serve for six years.

(4) Term limits only apply to consecutive terms. The "can't run" heading assumes the council member remains in office uninterruptedly until that year's election.