In a 16-and-a-half minute meeting, the term-limits extension legislation passed the City Council Government Operations Committee unanimously.
The six members all voted yes.
Simcha Felder, the chairman, said it was good policy and had nothing to do specifically with wanting to see Michael Bloomberg as mayor for another four years (although Felder said he’s been excellent).
Domenic Recchia quoted Abraham Lincoln, saying you don’t change horses mid-stream, seeming to make the case for term-limits extension exactly about Bloomberg.
Martin Dilan did not offer an explanation, but simply said, “I vote aye.”
Helen Sears of Queens said she searched her soul and listened to countless constituents before deciding that extending term-limits was good.
Peter Vallone, Jr. said he was voting yes, but acknowledged that it would have been better to have a public referendum on Election Day to decide the issue. Having a referendum during a special election would be mired in lengthy court challenges which would wreck havoc on municipal elections, Vallone said.
Inez Dickens said she was voting yes because term limits denied minority members a chance of earning seniority in legislative bodies. Afterward, she got into a testy exchange with reporters who wanted to ask her about her vote. “It was a very difficult decision,” she said, before her staff escorted her out of the room.