More from Glenna:
The first group to give testimony today was pro-legislation, and among its notable members was Time Warner chairman Richard D. Parsons. Parsons called the circumstances of the economy “frightening, perilous or even dangerous” and argued it could soon make the 1970s crisis “look like a day at the beach.”
Peter Vallone Sr., former speaker of the Council, cited times during his tenure that an experienced group of lawmakers could stand up to the mayor in a way that a bunch of freshman are less likely to. The mentality of term limits, he said, is that old politicians are like “dirty diapers.”
His son, Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., is in the chambers sitting at the Council table, and immediately expressed regret that the question cannot be put to voters. He asked his father why it is more appropriate for the Council to act now, instead of waiting for a referendum. The elder Vallone spoke again on the virtues of legislative action.
Councilwoman Letitia James asked Parsons how the next election can be a fair fight if Bloomberg, who has “unmatched resources” and the “power of incumbency,” is a candidate. Parsons pointed out that another billionaire, Tom Golisano, is opposing the mayor’s legislation.