After a spirited, emotional and at times raucous debate, the New York City Council voted, 29 to 22, on Thursday afternoon to extend term limits, allowing Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg to seek re-election next year and undoing the result of two voter referendums that had imposed a limit of two four-year terms.
The vote was a major victory for Mayor Bloomberg — a billionaire and lifelong Democrat who was elected mayor as a Republican in 2001, won re-election in 2005, became an independent last year, and decided just weeks ago that he wished to seek a third term for himself in 2009...
The Council has 48 Democrats and three Republicans. All three Republicans — James S. Oddo and Vincent M. Ignizio, of Staten Island, and Anthony Como of Queens — voted no.
Opponents of the bill accused the mayor and his supporters on the Council of flouting the will of the people — as expressed in a 1993 voter initiative that established a limit of two consecutive terms and a 1996 referendum in which voters rejected a Council-led effort to change the limit to three terms. They said that democratic procedure demanded a public vote on the issue, no matter what one thinks of Mr. Bloomberg or term limits.
Supporters of the bill said the dire economic situation confronting the city — and the possibility of multibillion-dollar budget shortfalls — demanded continuity of leadership.
Nothing like a little fear mongering to justify nullifying the will of the people and established law.
When politicians speak of "change" the above is exactly what they have in mind...