City Council Members Look to Trade Away Term Limits NYers Voted for Twice

Share this Post

Some New York City Councilmembers, who conspicuously would like to be the next speaker, are pushing to weaken term limits that have been backed by voters, twice.

The idea was originally proposed by Councilmember Ydanis Rodriguez several weeks ago, after he suggested extending the limit on Council terms from two to three four-year terms. Now Councilman Jumaane Williams, a candidate for City Council speaker, has drafted a bill to extend the term limit for Council through a referendum vote.

The proposal has been backed by a number of councilmembers, and all eight candidates running for Council speaker said they would support extending the Council limit to three terms.

Currently, all City offices including the mayor, public advocate, comptroller, and borough presidents have maximum two four-year term limits.

New Yorkers have showed time and time again that they are overwhelming in favor of the restriction on time public officials can serve. Voters supported a two-consecutive term limit for City office-holders in 1993 and in 1996.

In 2010, New Yorkers once again voted to uphold the two-term limit after Councilmembers had voted to extend term limits themselves two years prior.

The Mayor’s office agrees that New Yorkers have made their stance on the issue loud and clear. A spokesperson for Mayor Bill de Blasio told NY1 (Spectrum News), “The two-term limit for all officeholders should stay.”

If Williams’ measure to extend term limits is passed, the referendum will appear on the ballot of the next general election in November 2018.