City Council Speaker Christine Quinn defended her decision to move forward with legislation extending term limits, saying the three-week process was not rushed.
Quinn also defended her flip-flop on extending term limits – she opposed the idea in December but reversed herself days ago – comparing it with the stubbornness George W. Bush displayed as president.
“Many of us, myself included, have been highly critical of our president. When facts change, he won’t change his position on different matters,” she said.
With respect to the timing, Quinn said she had “no regrets” about how the issue unfolded.
When asked about concerns of freshman council members that term-limits activist Ron Lauder wanted to see to it that the extension wouldn’t be in effect long enough to apply to them, Quinn said it wasn’t it big deal. Protecting freshman from any kind of roll-back, she said, would simply be a “technical matter than can easily be addressed” in the wording of the referendum.
She repeated her claim that it was important for the city to be allowed to vote for Michael Bloomberg as mayor since there was an unprecedented fiscal crisis. I asked Quinn, who until recently was preparing to run for mayor, if she would be able to make the kind of decisions that the next mayor will be making.
“We have made those tough decisions,” she said, before ticking off financial steps she, the City Council, and Bloomberg have taken in the past.
The press conference took place in the Red Room at City Hall. It was so crowded that reporters squeezed themselves into every nook and cranny there, including in the space immediately around Quinn’s podium. I counted 10 television cameras in the room, but there may have been more since it was hard to see everyone. Bananas.