Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bloomberg Seeks Term Limiting Term Limits?

Mayor Mike Bloomberg, whose latest folly has been to call for the construction of windmills on bridges and skyscrapers to generate power despite failing to realize that it would never happen because those structures aren't engineered to handle them and has had to conduct an about-face, is now pushing for the City Council to pass legislation overturning the public referendum that instituted term limits on the City Council and the Mayor.

Bloomberg has publicly said he intends to leave when his term ends on Dec. 31, 2009, but has privately expressed interest in undoing the city's cap of two four-year terms with a legislative change, not a public referendum, sources said.

Bloomberg has recently indicated he believes he has plenty of time next year to work out an arrangement with the council, sources said.

"It's more 'yes' than 'no' right now," a source said. "They think they have time to wait until after the [November] election."

Extending term limits through legislation could be controversial, because some believe they can be changed only through a public referendum.

The Post first reported in April that Bloomberg was contemplating a move on term limits.

Bloomberg and council Speaker Christine Quinn both denied a deal is being considered.
Term limits were a bad idea when they were conceived - the best and proper way to limit someone's term in government is to vote them out of office. Instituting term limits means that those people who are best qualified to serve are kicked out of office prematurely.

However, Bloomberg's looking to carry out an end-run around the process. He's considering a process that would circumvent the public, which supported term limits. If he believes so strongly that term limits should be abolished - take the case to the public and put it up for referendum.

Until then, Bloomberg should stop tilting at windmills. It makes him look foolish.


 


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