As the law stands, 36 of the 51 City Council members will be term-limited out of office in 2009, which explains the slew of councilmembers who seem to be running for higher office. But not all the members have given up on changing that.
“I still think there is going to be a move to change it, to be honest” David Weprin, who is affected by the term limits and running for comptroller, told me. “There’s plenty of time to get a referendum on the ballot for ‘08. That’s what I would be looking to do. And there is still time to do a legislative tweak, in ‘09, similar to the Gifford Miller tweak, and just do it for a third term. It’s not overturning term limits totally, but a tweak, legislatively.”
Miller’s tweak was to clarify in the law that “a term” is always four years, not the occasional two-year period occurring councilmembers are elected immediately after redistricting.
Weprin added he has always planned to run for comptroller in ’09 because the conversation about overturning term limits was never extended to citywide offices, and the current comptroller will have to leave office in 2009.
I ran into David Weprin inside City Hall, who said he’s been hearing from a number of people about his comments on term limits, and wanted to make a few things clear.
He has no knowledge of any plans to change term limits. He would support a change to the law, but only if it was done by referendum (on a ballot) since that’s how it was created in the first place.