Term’s Up

The Story

Though New Yorkers have voted overwhelmingly in favor of limiting public officials to two terms in office, the city council is ready to extend term limits. Council members seeking the speakership have joined forces in an attempt to amend the law so that officeholders can serve at least three terms. The advocates’ arguments about good government and continuity of service do not hold up: New Yorkers have made their views on this question clear.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Three Strikes: In three referenda held over 17 years, the people of New York City voted to restrict lawmakers to two terms in office. Read more.

  2. No Experience: In the name of reform, the city council gave itself a big raise and eliminated outside work, though one-third of council members have no work experience outside of government to begin with. Read more.

  3. Vesting Schedule: One city council member has suggested that two four-year terms aren’t enough because city pensions don’t vest until after ten years of service. Read more.

“Being an elected official is a calling, not a civil service job, or a career.”

Sal Albanese, Former council member and mayoral candidate

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

Term Limits and the Public Interest By Steven Malanga (October 2008)

“Those seeking to change New York’s law seem to have self-interest in mind.”

And in other news...

“Higher rents are forcing smaller shops out of business, and in their place follow a series of ubiquitous banks, chain drugstores and coffee shops.”