Yassky, Gerson, Brewer Offer Amendment, Deny It’s a ‘Fig Leaf’

[img_assist|nid=131|title=City Hall|desc=nyc.gov|link=none|align=left|width=420|height=262]Three undecided City Council members—David Yassky, Gale Brewer and Alan Gerson—told reporters just now they’ll introduce an amendment to the term-limits legislation that would establish a charter review commission that could put term-limits to a voter referendum at the earliest opportunity.

The Council votes on the legislation tomorrow; the three lawmakers, who were previously undecided about how they will vote, declined to say whether they’ll support the bill in its current form.

All three said they believe it’s better policy to allow city lawakers to serve three terms, instead of only two, but expressed reservations about overturning two public referendums with legislation in the City Council.

When asked if this amendment was simply a “fig leaf” to give them political cover with voters, all three shook their heads, and Yassky, said, “Absolutely not.” He went on, “I think that the right outcome is to change term limits from eight [years in total] to 12. I say that without hesitation. That’s in the best interest of this city.” But, Yassky added, “This is not a good way to do it.”

“We have to recognize there are conflicting and competing Democratic principles,” said Gerson, of Manhattan, motioning as if he was juggling. Constituents “want the option of voting for continuity,” he said, and “a large number of people don’t want to be bound by what happened twelve years ago.”

The three spoke to reporters on the steps of City Hall for about 30 minutes. As they spoke, Michael Bloomberg, who according to Gerson “blocked” a move to put term limits on a ballot before voters this year, walked by without saying a word.

A Bloomberg spokesman monitoring the press conference did not immediately say where the mayor, who has no public events today, was going.

Yassky, Gerson, Brewer Offer Amendment, Deny It’s a ‘Fig Leaf’