City Council of the City of New York Votes to Extend Term Limits

The city Council of the City of New York voted 29 to 22 on October 23 to extend term limits which would permit Mayor Michael Blomberg to seek re-election next year. The Charter Amendment voted upon by the Council will also permit members of the City Council and other city elected officials to serve for three or four year terms.

Here is the text of the amendment to the city charter as approved by the Council on October 23, 2008:

Proposed Int. No. 845-A

By Council Members Felder, Comrie, Koppell, Recchia Jr. and Stewart (by request of the Mayor)

A Local Law to amend the New York city charter, in relation to term limits for elected officials.

Be it enacted by the Council as follows:

Section 1. Sections 1137 and 1138 of the charter of the city of New York, as added by a vote of the electors of such city at the general election held on November 2, 1993, are amended to read as follows:

§1137. Public Policy. It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the city of New York to limit [to not more than eight consecutive years] the time elected officials can serve as mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president and council member so that elected representatives are “citizen representatives” who are responsive to the needs of the people and are not career politicians. It is further declared that this policy is most appropriately served by limiting the time such officials can serve to not more than three full consecutive terms.

§1138. Term Limits. Notwithstanding any provision to the contrary contained in this charter, no person shall be eligible to be elected to or serve in the office of mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president or council member if that person had previously held such office for [two] three or more full consecutive terms [(including in the case of council member at least one four-year term)], unless one full term or more has elapsed since that person last held such office; provided, however, that in calculating the number of consecutive terms a person has served, only terms commencing on or after January 1, 1994 shall be counted.

§2. If any section, subdivision, sentence, clause, phrase or other portion of this local law is, for any reason, declared unconstitutional or invalid, in whole or in part, by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed severable and such constitutionality or invalidity shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions of this local law, which remaining portions shall remain in full force and effect.

§3. This local law shall take effect immediately and shall apply to elections held on or after the date of its enactment, provided that this local law shall be deemed repealed upon the effective date of a lawful and valid proposal to amend the charter to set term limits at two, rather than three, full consecutive terms, as such limits were in force and effect prior to the enactment of this local law, where such proposal has been submitted for the approval of the qualified electors of the city and approved by a majority of such electors voting thereon.

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