Yassky Proposes Term Limit Referendum

Councilmembers Gale Brewer, David Yassky, and Alan Gerson at City Hall today.

Councilmembers Gale Brewer, David Yassky, and Alan Gerson at City Hall today.

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

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  • T.K. Small

    This seems like a reasonable compromise.

  • stefan

    Yassky is such a putz, I would rather vote for the peeing hydrant on Montague Street.

  • Publius

    I think Yassky’s been a good City Councilman for this district. He’s approachable, has a good record, and takes the job seriously.

  • cormac

    I also believe that a public referendum should only be overruled by another public referendum. However, I think Yassky’s “no position” is a sign of cowardice.

  • T.K. Small

    It is official. Yassky is a hack! I cannot believe that city Council did not approve a referendum on the term limit extension. I would have been perfectly happy to vote affirmatively, and ultimately for Mayor Bloomberg. However, I cannot help but think that the political process is broken.

    There is no way that I will vote for Yassky, and if necessary I would consider being an opponent in the general election

  • stefan

    T.K.: Ha! You said it bud!
    Welcome aboard the “Yasskey is a putz” float.

  • nicky

    I knew David would act like hamlet but behave like bloomberg. he is a total opportunist