2010-01-15 / Editorial/Opinion

Time For Term Limits for State Officials

The idea of term limits for city officials has worked well, despite the fact that Mayor Michael Bloomberg bribed City Council members to vote to extend those term limits to twelve years from eight. The present Council is younger, more diverse and less venal than the Council of old, where members regularly got reelected without much opposition. Now, it is time to do the same thing for our New York State officials – the Governor, Comptroller, Senate and Assembly members. We have said this before and our contention that term limits for state officials was necessary has always been looked at as a “never happen” proposal. This week, however, The Wave got some backup on the proposal by no less a personage than Governor David Paterson. In his State of the State speech last week, Paterson called for limiting members of the Senate and Assembly to six two-year terms (a total of 12 years) and all other state officeholders to two four-year terms (a total of eight years). We think that it’s a great idea. One only has to look at who represents Rock - away in those two bodies to understand why. We understand that our state legislators are not going to vote themselves out of office by voting for term limits, even under pressure from Governor Pat - er son, but there are other ways it can be done. We should all start putting pressure on our legislators to call a constitutional convention that could address term limits, ethics and any other number of important issues. If only New York had a ballot initiative law in which citizens could force a vote on such im - portant issues, and a constitutional convention that could address them as well. We need a new broom to sweep clean. Perhaps Paterson is that broom, but we are not holding our breath waiting for it to happen.

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