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Mayor now supports two-terms for elected officials

Cyril Josh Barker | 4/12/2011, 5:31 p.m.

After presenting the idea and giving himself a third term in 2008, Mayor Michael Bloomberg apparently has had a change of heart and is in favor of restoring term limits to two for elected city officials.

When New Yorkers go to the polls on Election Day, they will flip over their ballot and vote to reduce term limits for city elected officials from three to two. The rule would only apply to those who were first elected at or after the 2010 general election and prohibit the City Council from altering the term limits of elected city officials then serving in office.

"I'm voting to restore it," Bloomberg told reporters at a recent press conference, when asked about the proposal on the ballot.

According to reports, Stu Loeser, a spokesman for the mayor, said that the mayor supported three terms for himself because the city was in a dire financial emergency at the time.

For nearly a decade, Bloomberg has done a tennis stunt with his position on term limits--supporting them during his first term as mayor in 2002, then saying that he would sign a bill if the City Council chose to extend term limits.

"After two years of waiting, you will finally have your say on term limits," said Public Advocate Bill de Blasio. "In response to the public outcry against that effort, the mayor convened a charter revision commission to examine the issue. The commission voted to put two ballot questions before voters this November."

Brooklyn City Councilwoman Letitia James said that term limits should be left up to the voters and had some harsh words for the mayor.

"I think the mayor of New York City is a hypocrite," she said. "On this issue, it would have served him well had he just remain silent."