Four More Years

The City Council voted 29 to 22 to extend term limits. City Room and The Daily Politics have all the gory details. 

  • This is a huge perversion of democracy. Today, I am ashamed to be a New Yorker.

  • v

    corrupt. cowards.

  • I’m not thrilled to see tampering with term limits. But I’m relieved that I won’t be seeing this in Gracie Mansion anytime soon.

    I’m also not thrilled to see high oil prices ease off because they were driving some good and necessary changes in driving habits and settlement patterns. But I’m glad that NYC will have more time to execute street redesigns that involve diesel-powered machinery.

    Four more years for Janette Sadik-Khan? I’ll take ’em.

  • Mark, if G.W. Bush and the Congress pulled the same stunt, we’d be outraged. Hell, we might even flee the country.

    This is a naked abuse of power. The Council voted to allow themselves (and Bloomberg) the option to stay in power using the justification of a crisis. Does this not disturb you? This is how democracy dies, and dictatorships are born.

  • Sure it disturbs me. But the prospect of Mayor Weiner bring livable-streets progress grinding to a halt disturbs me too. I’m 51 years old and probably have two or three decades to live. I want to live to see the city become a better place and that won’t happen if the Weinermobile parks next to Gracie Mansion for eight years. So I have a choice between two situations that disturb me. I’ll take the lesser of two evils. If I see Bloomberg’s name on the ballot, I’ll think of JSK and pull the lever. And I’m saying it out loud because I suspect many people here are afraid to say it.

  • A very sad day in NYC. I guess I picked the perfect time to get out. What can be said when our elected officials hand themselves 4 more years.

  • Streetsman

    I’m not a big fan of term limits in the first place. Essentially they are dated referenda preventing future citizens from electing someone they might want, unless the future citizens overturn the referendum with a new referendum. Let’s leave term limits and referenda out of the process and just vote for whoever we want come election day. Isn’t that the fairest way to do things anyway?

  • Urbanis, While GW certainly didn’t pull ‘the same stunt’ he certainly didn’t get where he is today via a fair democratic election. Welcome to the new democratic process.

  • Peter

    If this were the worst conflict of interest issue we had with our elected officials, we’d be doing pretty well. Politicians everywhere vote themselves raises every year, they hand out contracts to their supporters, they take questionable “gifts”, they cut back room deals on just about everything, etc, etc.

    And when you think about it, we always have term limits. You don’t like the guy? Vote for his opponent and toss the incumbent out! I’m sure you’ll have a nice full slate of option beside Bloomberg to choose from next year.

    As Mark noted, I’d be very happy with another four years of JSK dropping bike lanes and pedestrian improvements all over town.

  • Michael Steiner

    Hmm,it seems everybody takes it for granted that Bloomberg gets now re-elected for a third term (which would be perfectly fine by me, btw, even hough the manner of the change disturbs me).

    However, isn’t there a risk that this not-very-democratic act might produce a backlash and elect an anti-bloomberg major/council which might be even more inclined to reverse bloomberg signature actions like the sustainable nyc and DOT changes?

  • This act will be the focus of Weiner’s campaign (he’s said as much), but it won’t work. People are a lot less interested in malleable electoral law than they are in what they can see and feel. (At least this action was lawful, unlike much of what has happened in the Bush administration, which, by the way, would be destroyed by the Obama campaign if presidential term limits were somehow amended—no need to flee the country.) And just for old time’s sake, who has taught whom about “stunning political naïveté” now, Weiner? This will be a fun election, thanks to the council’s decision, and I look forward to Bloomberg having to campaign this time on his relatively newfound people-friendly street policies. They’re winners, and it’s time to prove it.

  • Felix

    Livable streets are nice, but Klein is killing the school system.

  • I agree felix. And I think everyone can see that wiener would be for this if he stood to gain from it.

    It’s righteous indignation sounds pretty hollow to me.

    Though, I’m not exactly happy with this– I never liked term limits so…

  • Urbanis, take it easy – this doesn’t guarantee anybody a third term in office.

  • Yeah, the process is disgusting but the results-oriented part of me prevails on this one and despite being a lifelong Democrat I welcome the prospect of another 4 of JSK and can stomach another 4 of Bloomberg. And what makes you think the alternative is 4 years of this rather than 4 of this?

  • this episode has really shown Quinn to be very unimpressive

  • We’ll see about this. I think there are plenty of New Yorkers who might like to see another term for Bloomberg but are not at all crazy about the way this was brought about. There’s a strong populist argument to be made by his challengers (though, of course, it could be counter-argued that term limits are anti-populist in and of themselves).

  • Jeffrey Hymen

    Am I the only one who has thought, ‘if Bloomberg had worked this hard on congestion pricing, it might have passed.’

  • Ian Turner

    Well, congestion pricing did pass the city council. But I think that when it comes to selling to politicians, giving them something extra is always easier than taking something away. No?

  • Jeffrey Hymen

    Probably, Ian. But I have to wonder what would have happened if the mayor had made the same kinds of promises, called in chits, cut deals, offered jobs and leaned on financial beneficiaries to get congestion pricing done. Now he knows how the game is played?

    Also, as I have posted before, four more years of Mayor Mike does not equate with four more years of JSK. BicyclesOnly is right in using the words, “prospect of.”

  • Marty Barfowitz

    I’m not sure that the Livable Streets movement benefits all that much from being aligned with the post-2nd term Mayor Bloomberg. I think he substantially ruined his independent, competent manager, above politics, good government brand with this move.

    The Anthony Weiner’s of this world aren’t going to go away. Lower Manhattan and Brownstone Brooklyn aren’t going to secede from Eastern Queens and Lew Fidler’s district. At some point the Livable Streets movement is going to have to deal with these outer borough motorheads being in power. We’re going to have to convince them that our agenda is good for them too.

    I don’t like Weiner very much and I hear that he is awful to work for. But I think, in many ways he might be the better mayor to deliver Livable Streets to NYC — just as right-wing nationalist Menachem Begin was the better Israeli prime minister to deliver peace with Egypt.

  • J. Mork

    “despite being a lifelong Democrat I welcome the prospect of another 4 of JSK and can stomach another 4 of Bloomberg”

    Bloomberg is not currently affiliated with any party.

  • Marty B: “At some point the Livable Streets movement is going to have to deal with these outer borough motorheads being in power.” I agree with this and all your other points. But…

    By the time they take power, I want livable streets to be a fait accompli — cast in concrete and asphalt, expensive and difficult to reverse. Remember that rising energy prices will make street redesign harder over time. Another term of Bloomberg now is probably worth three terms worth of a livable-streets mayor starting 10 years from now.

  • Don’t forget that Bloomberg’s record is far from unblemished. We could have had marriage equality in New York City years ago, if Bloomberg hadn’t appealed the city court’s ruling. Critical Mass riders have been harassed, ticketed, and in one chilling incident, shoved off a bicycle due to Bloomberg letting the NYPD run rampant. And what about all the new luxury developments and parking?

  • Also, has anyone noticed that some of our strongest livable streets allies on the City Council (such as Letitia James and John Liu) voted against extending term limits?

  • fdr

    What if JSK goes to Washington in an Obama administration? Bloomberg has not said he needs 4 more years to push livable streets.

  • The fight over term limit extension has already claimed its first livable streets victim. According to the Post, Councilwoman Mealy was so upset about her vote that she crashed her car a few hours later and broke her collarbone.

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