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New York City Term Limits Reduction (November 2010)

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A New York City Term Limits Reduction measure was on the November 2, 2010 ballot in the city of New York which is in New York County.

This measure was approved, meaning the term limits go back to two.[1]

Background

In 2008, city officials extended the term limit for those in city government jobs to three terms. This measure sought to reduce the term limit back to the original two terms before it was changed. Since this was approved, if current government officials in their second term want to run for a third term that will still be allowed. The change will only take affect on newly elected officials or those in their first term.[2] The terms for each member are four years long but realized that not until 2013 would any change be seen in the government offices because that would be when those elected would be subject to the new two year term limit. A separate measure on the ballot will also ask residents if council members should be barred from changing the term limits again on their own to benefit incumbent members.[3] The council decided on a grandfather clause to be included, meaning that current elected officials can serve three, four year terms and not be subject to the term limit measure. Real changes then would not be seen until 2021 because current officials could stay in office until then.[4] One reason noted for introducing the grandfather clause to allow for third terms is that otherwise the next voted council would be a majority of new people and would lack the experience of the older officials elected.[5]

Opinions

When current Mayor Bloomburg was asked about his thoughts on the term limit measure, no answer was given on his position. Though he had stated earlier that he was going to get the issue to a vote, he declined to answer questions on if this was what he had in mind when he first forced the extension.[6] Recent polls have shown most New Yorkers are in favor of going back to the two term limits. Some residents polled noted their frustration with Bloomburg's aggressive tactics and see this vote as they way to undo that bit of legislation.[7]

Later Mayor Bloomburg had come out saying that he supports this measure to restore the two term limit rule. When asked about overturning it in 2008, he noted that there were exceptional circumstances and that he supports the people's right to make their choice on the issue. Concern about residents not knowing about the issue and that it was on the back of the ballot had led to further campaigning by proponents who hoped the people would be given their chance to voice their opinions.[8]

Additional reading

References