The Terms

Thursday, October 23, 2008

New York City Council Member Letitia James (Brooklyn's 35th district) will argue against the Bloomberg plan to extend term limits, Council Member Oliver Koppell (the Bronx’s 11th district) will argue in favor, and Council Member Gale Brewer (Manhattan's 6th district) will offer a third alternative.

Should term limits be extended to 12 years?

A: Yes. Only Bloomberg can save us now.

B: No. It's a greedy power grab.

C: Hold a referendum. Let the people decide.

Comment below.


Gale Brewer, Letitia James and Oliver Koppell

Comments [99]

Richard from Brooklyn

This Mayor is the 10th mayor I have lived under and I believe one of the finest. True he is ambitious enough to want to serve one more term to ,I believe, to accomplish what he couldn't do in his first two terms, and face a super critical financial crisis. I trust he will do everything he can to do a good job, and I judge this because I don't think he thought of serving a third term until this year. If I could give him tasks to accomplish they would be: 1) 50% of our children live in poverty, get it to zero.2) only allow low and moderate cost housing to be built. 3) support a "living wage" for NYC workers.4)be humble if you get this term.

Oct. 25 2008 09:29 PM
Denice from Brooklyn


Maybe it's just because I've only lived in the city for four years, but I like Bloomberg and I don't see anything wrong with him running for reelection. I'm from Denver where the mayor has a three term limit and the city has yet to go up in flames because of it. (Of course I would be adamantly opposed to the idea if it were Giuliani trying to bend the rules. That guy gives me the creeps.)

Oct. 25 2008 04:39 PM
Steve from E. Village

This is not about whether or not Bloomberg is the best person for the job. He might be, but that is irrelevant to the manner in which this was done. This is not even about term limits per se. I personally am against term limits. This is about the imperious, undemocratic way in which this was rammed down our throats that smacks of power-mad demagoguery. The most outrageous aspect of this is that the City Council voted on their own political futures: this is nothing but self-serving and a gross conflict of interest. This should either have been subjected to another referendum, OR the Council should have voted but with all current elected officials (Mayor, Council, Comptroller, etc.) barred from having their own terms extended. I have no doubt that Bloomberg will do a good job in guiding us through the hoped-for economic recovery. I have serious doubts about the the "democractic" processes engaged in this shameful manner.

Oct. 25 2008 08:37 AM
mLu from NJ

Great example of votes not counting. What will be next?

Oct. 23 2008 08:59 PM
Dave Olsen from Manhattan

B. Greedy Power Grab

Bloomberg is the cause of the financial trouble, not the answer. Having our Mayor as a super-rich power-hungry icon is counter-productive. I remember when it was cool to be from NYC. Bloomberg just wants to make this place into a super-safe amusement park for the super-rich. NYC used to be edgy and innovative in things other than fancy ways to make too much money...T'row DA Bums OUT!!!!!

Oct. 23 2008 07:20 PM
Leon Freilich from Park Slope


Who says you can't have it both ways?

Not David Yassky, certainly.

In the count on mayoral term limits

He voted no AND yes, pleasing everybodee.

Oct. 23 2008 05:04 PM
Leonardo from Queens

Le Coup d'la cite is in progress!

Oct. 23 2008 04:02 PM

B - It's a greedy power grab.
Bloomberg may say that "he's doing this for us"...for the public good, however he has seen his personal fortune triple or more, during his mayor tenure! Perhaps he's doing it for his personal interests and those of his business associates to help them ride out the financial storm...not us! Why should we reward a Mayor with a third term who has overseen a time of greed ON wall st deregulation aka: corruption!!

Oct. 23 2008 03:14 PM
Leon Freilich from Park Slope


Bloomberg Market Data, Bloomberg News, Bloomberg TV, Bloomberg Radio, Bloomberg Magazines . . .

The list goes on without pity;

Surprised he wants the next one

To be called Bloomberg City?

Oct. 23 2008 01:49 PM
Ethan from Brooklyn

Thank you for your service Mike, now move on with your life and take your greedy wall st. ways with you. It is time to let someone else take the reins.

My vote is: B or C (even though we have been through this before).

Oct. 23 2008 01:40 PM
Leonardo from Queens

C. - Let the people decide.

Has anyone thought of the following: If the mayor and City Council will be running for reelection next year it means that they will not be making the RIGHT decisions within the next 14 months. Decisions will be driven on getting reelected. The City will lose 14 months from November 2008 to Dec 31 2009 where the Mayor can maneuver the economic situation and set us on a straight path for the next mayor.
If the Mayor is SO CRITICAL to the City's survival, why not run for Comptroller? - This way he can work on the economic problem from the budget side and then in 2010 switch over as controller to manage the pension plans?

Something Smells FISHY about this!!

Oct. 23 2008 12:08 PM
SuzanneNYC from Upper West Side

I think term limits are inherently un democratic and oppose them -- including the 25th ammendment. What's even worse about the NY City's term limits is that they were foisted on us by a conservative billionaire who bankrolled the referendum BOTH times!! His ad campaign managed to convince people that it was a populist effort and tapped into the resentment many people feel towards government. The opposition didn't have nearly the same amount of $$ so the other side was barely heard. Naturally it passed twice. But it should be repealed. Maybe this time the other side will be able to stand up to the Billionaire and his money.

Oct. 23 2008 12:00 PM
Shari from Manhattan

Our family strongly believes that any change in term limits acted upon as proposed within the City Council represents a blatant conflict of interest and must be put to a City-wide Referendum vote.

Unhappily, we New Yorkers as it is, have little direct voice in decisions of all kinds and at all levels which affect us and our communities.

As members of WNYC for decades, we greatly appreciate such a reliable source for this and so many issues, giving us the opportunity to better participate as Local and Global citizens. Thank you WNYC for being here!

Oct. 23 2008 11:24 AM
Monica from NY NY

referendum: Let the people decide.

I would vote for Bloomberg.
He has done an amazing job with the city and public schools. Only Bloomberg can save us now.

Oct. 23 2008 11:07 AM
David from Great Neck

B -- this is a cynical power grab and it makes no sense as the mayor is bound to lose favor in the crisis. I am against term limits in principle but this "apre moi, le deluge" scheme is wrong. I would vote NO if I were a City Council member.

Oct. 23 2008 11:07 AM
hjs from 11211

prince michael for life

Oct. 23 2008 11:02 AM
kathleen from nyc from nyc

B. A power grab plain and simple. It makes me sick that this is happening and our city council is allowing it.

Oct. 23 2008 10:48 AM
Ethan from Upper West Side

D. Vote on removing term limits for the "next generation" of elected officials.

Ever since term limits, which I oppose, were adopted in NYC, every single vote I have cast for a city official took into consideration the fact that the term limits existed. I would be disenfranchised if the rules were changed midstream.

Oct. 23 2008 10:46 AM
Frances Rabinowitz from Brooklyn, NY

No on allowing for end of term limits. Twice the people of New York have voted for term limits. I do not agree with term limits, but the proposal by the mayor and the City Council is undemocratic and self serving.

Oct. 23 2008 10:44 AM
Barry from New York

The decision to end term limits should not be made without a public referendum.

If the City Council approves the end of term limits, and makes an end run around the people, I will respond by voting AGAINST any current city council member who is up for re-election, REGARDLESS OF HPW THEY VOTED ON TERM LIMITS, and encourage all others opposed to this abuse of power to do so as well.

Oct. 23 2008 10:41 AM
A proud resident of District 35, BK from Crown Heights

Thank you Letitia James and the Working Families Party for standing up for us -- in the face of such overwhelming power and influence, which has put virtually all media (with the notable exception of WNYC) in the mayor's pocket. It's amazing, the papers bury any negative news on Bloomberg. But you look at the online comments and letters to the editor and they all call this the power grab that it is.

Stay strong Ms. James!

Oct. 23 2008 10:40 AM
Tony Davis from Brooklyn, New York

No. Not 12 years. Let us name him Mayor for life,

The Romans had it right.

Ave Michael of the Jullii!

Oct. 23 2008 10:40 AM
Taher from Croton on Hudson

This is democracy in New York City? Billionaire mayor Bloomberg claims that he is only person capable of dealing with NYC on coming crises hence all referendums voted on by the people should be put aside. What arrogance!!! If the extension of term limits is passed hopefully the voters in NYC are wise enough to give Mr. Bloomberg his pink slip.
He can enjoy his wealth in private.

Oct. 23 2008 10:39 AM
lucy koteen from Brooklyn

A greedy power grab.

No referendum. The people spoke twice and this was not even on the radar screen until the Mayor pulled it up. Because of term limits we have the most progressive Council ever. New people in the Council keep it great. Council members need to move on and get a job-maybe one not paid for by taxpayers. What if this was Bush who decided he is indispensable?

Where was the Mayor for the last 7 years warning of this crisis if he is such a financial wizard. It is his CEO buddies who created the Wall Street crisis.

Who wants the Mayor back in? The Real Estate moguls who have benefited enormously through this mayor, often using our tax subsidies.

Ask the many more homeless that now exist what they think of him?

Ask the teachers of the school who are now teaching for tests. And the parents who have children terrified of all those tests.

Ask all the displaced long term residents who have been displaced by eminent domain and the big real estate developers pushing them out.

Ask the many people arrested and held for 48 hours during the RNC, for no reason.

Ask the bicyclists who have been assaulted by the police.

Ask the videographers who have had their cameras snatched by the police while witnessing police brutalities.

Civil Liberties has been beat up by this Mayor. he is a disaster.

Let term limits stand. No referendum. The people have spoken!

Oct. 23 2008 10:37 AM
Bill B from NYC-Chelsea

I agree with your guest, I too am not a Bloomberg fan but term limits are ANTI-DEMOCRATIC! The true voice of the people is ignored in electing leadership and a device is put in place to compensate for such laziness. Term limits line up next to electoral votes - the powers that be do this because there is no faith in each individual citizen.

For the record there are enough millionaires in this city that any candidate should be able to get all the money they need to run a $ for $ campaign - not that I advocate that approach but lets be realistic.

Its time we Americans "ALL" started to take responsibility for ourselves- vote or don't vote each is a decision with a result and isn't it great that we live in a country where both are an option and OUR OWN choice!

Oct. 23 2008 10:35 AM
Ethan from Upper West Side

B & C

" . . . a government of laws, not of men."

Oct. 23 2008 10:33 AM
Chuck from Greenpoint

Is it just me, or is this a replay of the ridiculous arguments that Giuliani floated after 9/11 to make a grab at retaining mayoral power? If we could survive a change in mayors four months after a terrorist attack that killed thousands downtown, is it reasonable to think that we wouldn't survive a national economic downturn without Bloomy at the helm?

C'mon people, give yourselves some credit. New York is stronger than that.

Oct. 23 2008 10:33 AM
Kim from Carnegie Hill

Let the people decide!

The stupidity of this is what surprises me. If Bloomberg, whom I generally think has been a good mayor, loses today it will be his own fault. A pretty consistent criticism of his governing style is that he doesn't bring the case for his ideas to the public -- that's what happened to the traggic congestion/zoning initiative, and is very likely to happen with his idea to extend term limits. I honestly believe that if he'd made the case directly, honestly and thoroughly to the public, he could have won them over and avoided this controversy. Instead, he's destroyed alot of the good will he's built up with New Yorkers.

Oct. 23 2008 10:31 AM
APP from Manhattan

[42] "With Bloomberg's millions he alredy [sic] has all the power he wants without being Mayor."

Obviously not.

Oct. 23 2008 10:27 AM
Eppie from Astoria Queens NYC

B Vote No to Bloomberg AND C - a Nov 2009 (nine) referendum on term limits; do not spend millions on a special election this spring; but consider allowing three terms for council members so that we do not lose two-thirds of the council at the same time

Oct. 23 2008 10:26 AM
Jon from Astoria

Oliver Koppel is the most arrogant person I have ever listened to, with the possible exception of Newt Gingrich. Really, what if President Bush decided he wanted a third term, and just got congress to "go along" with it?

Also, what gives Oliver Koppel the impression that Bloomberg is the best guy for the job? Why? He's been running this mess for years now- don't tell me Bloomberg the billionaire just found out last week about credit default swaps?

I will absolutely vote against anyone who supports this- that's you, Quinn and Vallone

Oct. 23 2008 10:24 AM
jkl from manhattan

I really truly do not understand why this issue is coming up at this late date (i.e., too late to have a referendum on it).

If this were a capital construction project that Bloombertg were running, he would have factored in the time for a referendum.

I don't know how I feel about term limits, but the "time crunch" argument really bugs me.

Oct. 23 2008 10:24 AM
Andy Biscontini from Brooklyn

B. It's clearly a greedy power grab.

But if something decided by referendum is to be undone, it is extremely dangerous to allow elected officials to undo it without a public referendum.

Otherwise, really, what's the point of having a democracy?

Oct. 23 2008 10:24 AM
Chuck from Greenpoint

@AMW "He is not Mussolini or Mugabe. He doesn't want to take away your freedom."

Really? Not only does he want to take away your freedom, he's paying settlements with our tax dollars when the courts rightly find that his NYPD violates civil rights.

City Police Spied Broadly Before G.O.P. Convention

City Settles Protestors' Lawsuit for $2 Million

If there's no one better suited to run this city, then there's no reason to not ask the voters to revoke the term limits they imposed, then reelect Mayor Mike. What's the risk, eh?

Oct. 23 2008 10:23 AM
lucia imbesi from new york city, manhattan

No, no extension; it's a shameless power grab and I don't want to see Bloomberg another 4 years. At the very least, it should be left to the people by referendum. This is anti-democratic to say the least!

P.S. I have never seen the city so dirty and neglected in the many, many years I have lived here. It looks like a third world city. Brian Lehrer should do a show on that. I have brought this to the attention of the City Council without response.

Oct. 23 2008 10:23 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

So the election will cost $15 million? I wonder what we spent on security for the hideous Republican National Convention our mayor brought us. No colluding billionaires thank you very much.

Oct. 23 2008 10:23 AM
Inquiring Minds

Frankly, I am shocked at how many New Yorkers use the past -- that is the fact that Bloomberg DID a good job during the credit "bubble" -- to justify this power grab.

Do you really think that his policy of making the city entirely dependent on finance and banking WAS a good idea?

How do you think that will help now, in the POST CREDIT BUBBLE world?!

New York doesn't need a BANKER now.

Oct. 23 2008 10:23 AM

I encourage all to vote out any Council member who votes for removal of term limits.

Oct. 23 2008 10:22 AM
Katie from Manhattan

You guest is wrong... the founding fathers did talk about term limits, it unfortunately was narrowly voted down due to most of their own self interests just like now.

Oct. 23 2008 10:22 AM
Matt from Manhattan

C - Referendum.

The Mayor may be correct in all the reasons he cites for the need to extend his limit, however, how he goes about pursuing that is important. The country works best when it follows PROCESS.

Oct. 23 2008 10:22 AM
NWP from CT

Bloomberg should advise Bush on our need for him to lead the nation out of the current "CRISIS"!

Oct. 23 2008 10:21 AM
Max Z.

A. Term limits were wrong before and they are wrong now. They are anti-democratic.

Oct. 23 2008 10:21 AM
Alex from brooklyn

Those against term limits should vote against them.

But extending them is a disingenuous way to pretend that they are not subverting the expressed will of the people.

Oct. 23 2008 10:20 AM
Michael Anderson from NYC

I only moved to New York City two years ago and I cannot believe they need term limits to stop them from voting for certain candidates.

If people want to get people out of office.

Stand up and vote them out.

Why do you need a law to limit terms. Term limits are anti-democratic.

It is amazing that so many New Yorkers by supporting term limits refuse to own their responsibility.

Oct. 23 2008 10:20 AM
Ralph from Bowery

two words: Gifford Miller
what happened to him? he could have been a terrific public servant, but now he's in and out of public office so fast that he never had time to accomplish anything of worth for the City.

i don't care how we get there, but it should be 12 years. 8 just isn't enough time in today's bureaucracy to get anything of substance accomplished.

Oct. 23 2008 10:20 AM

B (forgot to vote above)--before this started and Bloomberg/Quinn covered themselves in shame, I would have said C, but now this anti-democratic, sleazy, sneaky cabal has to be exposed for what it is–-an utterly corrupt Plutocratic Party who believe the rest of us should just tip our hats, tug our forelocks, and be grateful for the crumbs they toss us.

Oct. 23 2008 10:19 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

It is a power grab by the millionaires of this city.

Oct. 23 2008 10:19 AM
Eileen from NYC

I vote A.

We are fortunate to have a Mayor of his experience and expertise at this challenging time. The cost of a referendum seems problematic when funds are so limited.

Oct. 23 2008 10:19 AM
APP from Manhattan

B. (though that doesn't exclude C)

I'm not a fan of term limits, but for the mayor and city council to overturn the will of the voters to extend their own terms is an abuse of power.

There isn't time for a referendum? It's too expensive? Then too bad, it can't happen. If they rescind term limits, it should not apply to currently serving elected officials, only future occupants of the office.

Oct. 23 2008 10:18 AM
Inquiring Minds

@26 Jim

I will concede your point that they are, philosophically, anti-democratic, but they are a necessary "blunt tool" to offset the influence of money and incumbency...

Oct. 23 2008 10:18 AM
Mike from NYC

B. Bloomberg is now exhibit A in why term limits are a good idea. Two terms has been enough for him to become addicted to political power.

Oct. 23 2008 10:18 AM
Nicole from Crown Heights

At the same time, this is obviously a power grab. The Mayor is using his political position, his money -- and exploiting people's fear -- to circumvent the rule of law. And the notion that he, of all people, is who we need to guide us through this crisis is PREPOSTEROUS. His pro-business, anti-regulation principles got us into this mess!

A market fundamentalist, union-busting politician is the last person we need right now!

Oct. 23 2008 10:18 AM
John from Jersey City, NJ

C: Hold a referendum. Let the people decide.

I would probably vote to extend term limits and then vote for Bloomberg. If the City Council overturned term limits without a referendum, I would probably vote against Bloomberg and my currently term limited councilman.

Oct. 23 2008 10:18 AM
Gary from Hell's Kitchen

After an almost two-year presidential campaign why, Mr. Koppell, would a shortened NYC elections campaign season be a problem? Have some high rollers (Mr. Lauder, break out your checkbook) donate to finance the special referendum early in the year, push back primaries if need be and voila!, the people can decide.

Oct. 23 2008 10:18 AM
Charles Lukoba from Newark, NJ

C: Hold a referendum. Let the people decide.

Power corrupts, I remember Sharpe James down here in Newark, NJ had no term limit & took the people here for a ride. I prefer 'B' but sometimes it's necessary to increase term limits, but let the people decide.

Oct. 23 2008 10:18 AM
Dorothy from Manhattan

I will vote against ANYONE who votes to cancel term limits. We've voted for term limits TWICE. What kind of banana republic city is this!

If Bloomberg runs again I'll vote AGAINST him, no matter who his opponent(s) is.

Oct. 23 2008 10:18 AM

C. referendum it is the right of the people to decide

b. back up the the peoples choice for term limits

It is a powergrab. IMHO Boomberg hasn't even been so great for the city financially. Being in the pocket of the developers, selling of the city property for nothing and NOT investing in infrastructure

Oct. 23 2008 10:17 AM
Yelena from Manhattan


With Bloomberg's millions he alredy has all the power he wants without being Mayor.

He is a terrific Mayor and flexible enough to realize that certain situations require change of mind. She should absolutely be allowed to run again.

Oct. 23 2008 10:17 AM
Dan from New Brunswick, NJ

I have always opposed term limits. Still my opinion is: No emergency referendum, no emergency extension of term limits for current officeholders. If New Yorkers think Bloomberg is essential, vote for the mayoral candidate who promises to make Bloomberg her/his economic czar.

Oct. 23 2008 10:17 AM
Jim from Brooklyn (Sunset Park)

To Pat in Brooklyn, Chicago works and works well. If Daley were not doing a great job for the people of Chicago, he would be voted out.

Oct. 23 2008 10:17 AM
Neil from Astoria, Queens

A - and THEN the people can decide if they want Bloomberg to continue for a third term! THEN the people can vote! This for term limits, NOT for a confirmed third term.

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
Kathryn from Williamsburg

I support extending term limits, but I voted against Bloomberg in the last election and might very well do so again. Isn’t an individual’s vote supposed to be the ultimate term limit? I would very much like to see my City Council Member be able to continue the good work she is doing for our community and not be forced out by the current restraints.

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
k. mclane from nyc

LET THE PWOPLE DECIDE and let Bloomberg pay for the referendum.

Brewer is a waffler she reps the pprogressive West side theytre all self serving this is WRONG

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
Nicole from nyc

C. I think the mayor is fantastic - he has done a brilliant job and would be fantastic in leading us through the financial crisis (Full disclosure: I worked for him). And if he runs again, I surely will vote for him. I recognize that having a referendum is inconvenient and expensive and impractical.

And Democracy is worth a little bit of inconvenience. At that's really just what it's about.

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
Bobby G from East Village

The history of referenda is that they are manipulated by big money.

LaGuardia and Koch had three terms.

As a voter I would like the opportunity to vote for whom I consider the best candidate. Simple as that.

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
Katie from Manhattan

(B) didnt we get here under bloomberg's watch? Why didn't he make budget adjustments (i.e. cuts, not tax increases he seems to love but prices normal people out of the city) in the past instead of growing the city budget as he did? Now he is the only one that can get us out of this financial problem? pleaae, i dont think so.

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
O from Forest Hills

Koppell has experience. So did Hilary, look where it got her.

This is letting wealth take over the city and we will be run by the wealthy and a city of working poor.

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
Mark Kuebel from West Harlem

I don't think that Mayor Bloomberg should be an exception to our Charter. Let the people decide if they want to change term limit law; after all, we created it in the first place.

No on term limit extensions -- for any of these politicians. Let the voters decide, not the Counsel.

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
Jen Benepe from west 22nd st.

Bloomberg should be able to run. He will be running fair and square against four other candidates, none of whom are qualified to be mayor. It would be disastrous to have any of the current alternatives as mayor--they would be much weaker. AND, Bloomberg has done an amazing job. (I am not saying this because I am related to the Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, though of course I like the job he is doing as well.) Finally Bloomberg is getting the old cronies and non performers out of the administrative offices, he is running the city like a well-oiled machine (e.g. 311): he has paid attention to the issues that count (like noise and pollution); and he is the first mayor who is paying attention to the issue that I am worried about most, cycling access and safety. It is now becoming again a livable city, and he is the best one for the job.
Jen Benepe

Oct. 23 2008 10:16 AM
April from Hollis, Queens

C. Let the people decide.
We should have a voter referendum on this issue. After all, we gave term limits through the electoral process, and we can (and should) take them away through the same process.

Oct. 23 2008 10:14 AM
C. M. Ashley from Tribeca

Mayor Bloomberg bought his office, showing already how ridiculous our idea of democracy is. New Yorkers have already expressed their will regarding term limits. Keep it like that, don't let this man railroad the city into accepting him for another 4 or 8 years!

Oct. 23 2008 10:14 AM
Alex from brooklyn

B: No. It's a greedy power grab.

I don't like term limits, and I only have a small problem with the city council overturning a referendum.

But doing this so late that a referendum is possible and extending the limits of people in their last terms (i.e. to themselves) without giving the voters a chance to weigh in on them first is nothing but a power grab.

I want Brian to ask the guests why term limits are good, but three is so much better than two that the expressed will of the people should be overturned by extending them to a third term. What is the substantive argument for three terms that does not imply that there shouldn't be term limits at all.

Oct. 23 2008 10:14 AM
david olmedo from NYC

Its amazing how King Mike cant let go of the thrown he so much enjoyed, the power, the fame. That he is willing to threaten city council members, King Mike if you like the fame so much, why dont you become an actor it seems you have more experience as an actor than you even know you have.

Oct. 23 2008 10:14 AM
Jim from Brooklyn (Sunset Park)

I am against term limits on principle. They are anti-democratic. Whether a term is limited to two or three terms makes no difference. But then I am from Chicago. I am against this bill because its particularity to the present situation runs counter to voters' will which is undemocratic. If the bill passes and Bloomberg runs, I will probably vote for him anyway.

Oct. 23 2008 10:14 AM

The public is furious and disgusted by this transparent, self-serving attempt to circumvent democracy and institute plutocracy.
Enough! We have twice voted for term limits and do not wish to be overridden by those with a vested interest. If it's good enough for the president, it's good enough for the mayor and city council. If these two self-serving hacks can't manage a special election, they certainly can't manage the city.

Rushing this through with only two daytime hearings, which disenfranchises anyone who works or lives in the outer boroughs, strips any veneer of legitimacy from this underhanded end run around two legitimate voter referendums. Why is the Bloomberg/Quinn cabal so afraid of the voters?

Oct. 23 2008 10:13 AM
O from Forest Hills


There are always exceptions to the rules, but not when it comes to this.

Oct. 23 2008 10:13 AM
Pat from Brooklyn

Just look at Chicago for a perfect example of unlimited terms going hand in hand with corruption. Ego is the only motivation here. If it weren't we would be fixing the MTA rather than building superfluous baseball stadiums for Bloomberg's legacy.

Oct. 23 2008 10:13 AM
Inquiring Minds


- incumbents are already too entrenched
- gets "new blood" in the system
- career politicians were an unintended consequence, not the "design" of democracy
- let's lessen the Boomers' grip on everything!

Oct. 23 2008 10:13 AM
Mariqua J. from Brooklyn


Bloomberg himself called such a move by the council a disgrace a couple of years back (except now he has his own vested interest). Forcing this through the council truly stinks.

Oct. 23 2008 10:13 AM
michaelw from INWOOD

B. No it's a Greedy Power Grab

Bloomberg Sucks
1. 2 baseball stadiums in one year over $3 Billion - Maybe the better place would have been schools and infastructure
2. Arresting every man, Woman & child during the RNC
3. Did nothing to prevent a transit strike
4. Kept police at low pay

Oct. 23 2008 10:12 AM
Sheila from New York City

A greedy power grab, I'm against term limits, but it was voted for twice.
this is ridiculous!

Oct. 23 2008 10:12 AM
chris from fort greene

the answer is B and C- it is a power grab but if you want to change term limits then let's have a referendum.

kudos to Councilwoman James for showing leadership on this issue. you are doing Fort Greene proud!

Oct. 23 2008 10:12 AM
Jennifer from Mid-Town

A. We need a strong financially knowledgeable candidate. Perhaps it should just be an exception this once - for Bllomberg.

Oct. 23 2008 10:12 AM
Tom Healy from Bensonhurst

B. NO!!!!!!!!!

Oct. 23 2008 10:11 AM
SG from Greenpoint

we have term limits: they're called elections.

Oct. 23 2008 10:11 AM
Chuck from Greenpoint

C: Hold a referendum. Let the people decide.

(Because: B: It's a greedy power grab)

Oct. 23 2008 10:11 AM
O from Forest Hills


Ask the working class poor of Queens for an approval rating and I doubt it will be 70%. It is time for a change.

I say, no, choice B.

We have many good choices for a new mayor,

Christine Quinn and Anthony Weiner are two of my favorites I am considering.

Oct. 23 2008 10:11 AM
Jeffrey Slott from East Elmhurst

B: No. It's a greedy power grab

Oct. 23 2008 10:10 AM
Mike from Brooklyn

C - for sure! I'm not necessarily opposed to rescinding term limits, but it should be done only by the people, and not by those who have a conflict of interest.

Oct. 23 2008 10:10 AM
Christophe from Brooklyn

I like Bloomberg, he's a great mayor, but this has tarnished his legacy.

C. has already happened twice, that's democracy.

I vote B.

Oct. 23 2008 10:10 AM
Chef Stress from brooklyn

B - everyone seems to say C, but why even bother with an additional election.

Oct. 23 2008 10:10 AM
Dallas Hayes from NYC


My problem with this whole thing is given the two referendums we've already had, if the council over turns this, doesn't it make the voice of the people meaningless? Will any referendum mean anything in the future?

Oct. 23 2008 10:10 AM
Lance from Manhattan

B - It's a greedy power grab.

I would not object to a public referendum for FUTURE office holders (but not for the present mayor and city council members).

Oct. 23 2008 10:10 AM
AWM from UWS

A good indicator:

The more that someone is upset that Bloomberg wants to extend his term as mayor in order to apply his skills and experience in order to help NYC face economic adversity of historic proportions, the less they know about the economic adversity of historic proportions NYC faces.

He is not Mussolini or Mugabe. He doesn't want to take away your freedom.

This city is going to be in even greater financial turmoil a year from now, we're talkin' about a return to 1970s New York.
Who would be a better choice to lead this city in this situation?

Seriously... who?

Oct. 23 2008 10:08 AM
Dylan from Astoria

C: Hold a referendum. Let the people decide.

This is not the time to make decisions about changing the democratic process. Why are they rushing this vote a year ahead of the elections for mayor and most of the candidates? It just seem like a rush to 'act' in the moment of crisis.

Saying there is no money for a referendum is just another way to take advantage of the current crisis situation.

Oct. 23 2008 10:06 AM
Susan from Kingston, New York

As a resident of the city (1967-2005) I voted twice for term limits. This keeps a fresh crop of people and ideas cycling through the system. Years before term limits were adopted the same ol' politicians hung onto office forever. Power remained in the hands of the party politicians who were primarily old white men. They rarely represented the diversity of New Yorkers and were primarily intent about holding onto power. I also witnessed an election in which the incumbent tried to hold onto power by stuffing the ballot box. It was the year that Roger Green ran against Harvey Strelson (sp?). We had to voted three times in the election. Terms limits should stand!

Oct. 23 2008 10:01 AM
Charles from Brooklyn

The proposed term limit repeal is more than a challenge to the wisdom of term limits. It is a challenge to the dignity of our democratic process. We, the New York of ten years ago, through voter referendum, voiced our will and our demand for protection against consolidation of power in government. The current attempt to repeal term limits is just such a consolidation, and therefore, we must demand that government honor this voice from the past, or we risk losing the voice we hold today. If power is reserved to the people, then no government official has the authority to thwart the will of the people concerning that power. A change in the law based on continuing the power of a few or one individual is an arbitrary act, and no one man or woman is reason enough to discard our voice, the rule of law, or the democratic process. If we fail to demand that government dignify our voice, we diminish this voice. We, the New York of ten years ago, stood up and voiced our will for term limits. For the New York of today, we must dignify this past decision, stand up, and remind ourselves we will eventually be the same. When New Yorkers stand together to voice our collective will, we stand with strength and purpose. This is the real New York, so please stand up.

Oct. 23 2008 09:58 AM
Jenna from Greenpoint, Brooklyn

Despite what Bloomberg says, no one is "uniquely qualified" to be mayor of NYC. It's a rotating job. Suck it up. And the fact that there is no time for a vote by the public is just his way to avoid a public that knows the danger extending term limits.

I guess what I'm most disappointed by is the mayor's change of heart. In 2002, he was singing a different song:

''In any event,'' the mayor wrote, ''I believe it is simply inappropriate for those members elected in 1997, who were aware of the rules under which they were elected, to seek to change those rules in a manner that may work to their own advantage.''

Now the council members can change the rules? Bloomberg didn't want to allow council members 8 years in office, but now is allowing them 12!?

If this bill passes, it will be a sad day in New York.

Oct. 23 2008 09:48 AM
Roger Frum from Park Slope

C. Though we already did this two times, right?

Oct. 23 2008 09:42 AM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.