2008-06-13 / Editorial/Opinion

Don't 'Fix' What Isn't Broken

The city's voters first approved term limits for city elected officials in 1993, nearly 15 years ago. At the time, politicians were incensed that the voters looked on them as short-term public servants rather than as leaders for life. In 2001, the city council tried unilaterally to undo the term limits they faced, but the public once more voted that term limits should remain. Recently, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has hinted broadly that he might like a third term. Just this week, Bloomberg warned voters that if they lost him they might well just get a Democratic political hack in his place. You know the kind - a person without any business or leadership experience. Bloomberg made that possibility sound like the second coming of Vlad the Impaler. Even though Bloomberg is widely thought of as a good mayor, a recent poll shows that even those who like what he has done would vote against changing the term limit law. Those who want to see term limits go the way of the Edsel (and perhaps the Humvee) say that the term limits end the tenure not only of political rascals, but excellent legislators as well; something like throwing the baby out with the bathwater. We say that the term limit law has worked, forcing legislators to be more responsive to the needs of their constituents and bringing in new blood with new ideas every eight years. In fact, we like term limits so well that we would like to see the limits extended to the state. Both the State Senate and the Assembly could use a good scrubbing as well.

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