On the eve of a City Council vote on the fate of term limits for elected officials, Brooklyn Heights Councilman David Yassky and two of his colleagues officially remain undecided—but they have a better idea, anyway.
Yassky, along with fellow Council Members Gale Brewer and Alan Gerson, announced that he will be proposing an amendment to the Mayor’s term limit bill tomorrow, which would cause the issue to be decided by a referendum, not legislation. Citing a recent Quinnipiac poll in which 89% of respondents said they believe the issue should be decided by the voters, Yassky said “we intend to ensure that Council Members have the option to vote on a referendum proposal as an alternative to the Mayor’s proposal to amend term limits legislatively.”
However, they affirmed their support for a 12-year limit policy for elected officials in the city. “The case for lengthening the term limit is particularly strong at this critical moment in the history of our City,” Yassky said. “We face a financial crisis of nearly unprecedented severity. We are convinced that it is in the best interests of the City, and consistent with true democratic principles, for voters to have the opportunity to choose whether or not to maintain the current set of City government leaders in next year’s election.” Despite this, the three would not take a firm stand on the term limits bill in its current state. Instead, they say, they will spend the time before the vote trying to drum up support for the amendment.
Meanwhile, a motion filed in Supreme Court against the City Council and the Conflicts of Interests Board by Council Members Letitia James and Bill de Blasio, seeking to postpone the vote, was rejected by a judge this afternoon.
Photo by M. Hermann/BHB