Tuesday, December 27, 2005

The Refs is History

A Look Back

As the Speaker's race comes down to the wire, we thought now would be a good time to take a quick look back at the past two referendums that brought term limits into existence - paying particular attention to the differences in the wording of the two ballot measures.


The first effort driven in 1993 by cosmetics magnate, Ron Lauder, was worded as follows:

Should the New York City Charter be amended by the addition of a new Chapter 50 to provide that a person may not hold the office of mayor, public advocate, comptroller, borough president or City Council member for more than two consecutive terms?


The second, driven by the City Council in 1996, was worded as follows:

The proposed local law would amend current Charter provisions which prohibit the Mayor, Comptroller, Public Advocate, borough presidents and members of the City Council from serving more than two full consecutive terms, including at least one four-year term for Council members, after January 1, 1994. The proposed local law would prohibit those officials from serving more than three full consecutive terms or twelve consecutive years, whichever is greater, after January 1, 1994, except for members of the City Council first elected in the year 2003, who would be prohibited from serving more than ten consecutive years. Shall the proposed local law be approved?

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