Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 4:35 p.m.
But, rallies on the steps of City Hall have witnessed the elected, activists, clergy and just concerned folk coming before the cameras and mics to voice their displeasure at what the mayor is attempting to do. Bloomberg offered, "Handling this financial crisis while strengthening essential services--such as education and public safety--is a challenge I want to take on for the people of New York. And so, should the City Council vote to amend term limits, I plan to ask New Yorkers to look at my record of independent leadership--and then to decide if I have earned another term. As always, it will be up to the people to decide, not me." He continued, "Now, I also understand that people voted for a two-term limit, and altering their verdict is not something that I think should be done lightly. But as newspaper editorialists and others have pointed out, the current law denies voters the right to choose who to vote for at a time when our economy is in turmoil and the Council is a democratically elected representative body. "The charter allows the Council to change the law--and it doesn't favor one method of adoption over another. Speaker Quinn has always done a great job of soliciting public input and making decisions that may not be easy or popular, but that she believes to be right. And I have directed my staff to work with her staff to produce a new term limits bill. If the Council passes it, I will sign it--and I would plan to run for re-election." At a City Hall rally, leaders of the Working Families Party announced a campaign to oppose Bloomberg's proposal. "This is a power grab, plain and simple, and the members of the New York City Council should reject it," said Dan Cantor, the WFP's executive director. "If New Yorkers want to extend term limits, Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council should allow voters to make that choice." Cantor added, "This is not about where you stand on term limits or even whether or not you think Mike Bloomberg has been a good mayor. This is about the rules of the game and the fact that, in our democracy, you don't get to change them at the end of the fourth quarter just because your team wants to keep playing. "Itsourdecision.org is an effort to let the hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who are appalled by this power grab to log on and make their voices heard." "I think it's awful for democracy, and it's awful for the people," Councilmember Liu told the AmNews. "I think that term limits should be changed, but only through a vote of the people. I think there should be a referendum on the issue, and I cannot and will not support the mayor pushing this through the City Council." "This Wall Street crisis happened under his watch," said Barron. "He keeps cutting our budget, our programs and services, from community centers to the budgets for police and the fire department, yet he has made $15 million. So why would we want him around for four more years? "The legislative body is supposed to keep the mayor in check, not to be his flunkies. In Albany, when he wanted congestion pricing [and0 the West Side Stadium, Albany and Shelly Silver said, 'No.' Now we should check him and say, 'No.' We can't let him hijack the legislative process. As Albany has checked him,so should the City Council."