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MAYOR'S BILL CHALLENGED

Nayaba Arinde | 4/12/2011, 4:33 p.m.
Members of the Street Vendor Project have been among hundreds protesting Bloomberg’s term limit extension proposal on the steps of City Hall. (Bill Moore Photo)

Term limits is a way of getting rid of ineffective elected officials. He added, "Used to be that council members were in for 20 odd years before term limits, and you couldn't get them out. Even though they were deadweights selling us out, you still couldn't beat the power of incumbency. So new candidates wouldn't even run. So even though Ron Lauder financed the term limit bill because he wanted to give opportunities to people he wanted in office, the people liked the idea of term limits, and they voted 'yes' in the referendum, saying, 'We don't want you in the City Council forever.' "So now these billionaires want us to have to endure a dozen years to get rid of dead weight." "A Quinnipiac poll said that 89 percent of those asked said they wanted a referendum," James told the AmNews. Surrounded by a host of politicians such as Council Member James and Assemb. Jeffries, billionaire Rochester businessman Thomas Golisano came out this week and said that he would bankroll the opposition to Bloomberg's bill. He added that if it was passed, he would fund the court challenges. And if those were defeated, he would financially back those running against Bloomberg for the mayoral seat. At a press conference, Golisano said, "The people have spoken twice, 1993 and 1996. They do want term limits for City Council and mayor.

Now, is there anything more democratic than the people making this decision? And now the City Council wants to violate the will of the people. To maintain the spirit of democracy, there should be at least another public referendum." "The best way to deal with a billionaire is to get another billionaire," James told the AmNews. The New York Times reported that as she tried to sway "yes" votes, Speaker Quinn now finds herself in a predicament after already promising freshmen council members that they, too, can enjoy the spoils of a council-approved third term run. Lauder has always been in support of Bloomberg's proposal so long as Bloomberg was the only beneficiary of his third term extension bill. He balked at the notion that current council members would also get 12 years in office. "The freshman class of City Council members are voting against their own interests if they pass the mayor's bill," said James. "There's an amendment in the bill that treats freshmen differently. In 2010, the mayor said that he would convene a Charter Revision Commission, where Ron Lauder said he would roll back the term extension, so while myself and other senior members will be alright, the new freshmen will be treated differently." The battle is far from over, as Councilman Barron warned, "We will have a people's referendum with petitions, and the City Council will still fight for a referendum. The public will put pressure on anyone who sides with the mayor on this, and it will be remembered when they run for office.The mayor is definitely defeatable in 2009."