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New York City Mayor Terms Extended To Three Terms

February 6, 2012 by staff 

New York City Mayor Terms Extended To Three Terms, 2008 – The New York City Council has approved changes in the term-limits law that will allow Mayor Michael Bloomberg to seek re-election next year. The council passed the bill Thursday by a vote of 29-22. The bill gives city officeholders the option of three consecutive four-year terms.

They had been limited to two terms. Bloomberg’s term concludes at the end of 2009.

Bloomberg announced his plans to change the term-limits law and seek re-election three weeks ago. He had opposed changing the law earlier in his administration, but now says he needs a third term to deal with the city’s financial crisis.

Opponents said the mayor was going over the heads of voters, who twice approved term limits in the 1990s. Many said they did not disagree with his goal to add a third term option, but found fault with the way he went about it.

Bloomberg, whose wealth is estimated at $20 billion, has argued that his business background as founder of the financial data firm Bloomberg LP makes him the best leader to help the city weather the turmoil on Wall Street.

The committee held two hearings last week on the fast-tracked legislation, with testimony lasting several hours. A poll this week found that registered voters overwhelmingly believe the public should have a say on the matter, and not the council.

On Wednesday, three council members who say they are undecided on Bloomberg’s bill announced they will introduce an amendment at the Thursday meeting that essentially rewrites the legislation and seeks to have the term limits issue decided by voter referendum.

The measure would establish a charter review commission with the intention of holding a special election by next spring.

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