From City Hall:
After last Tuesday’s big win for term limits proponents with an overwhelming 2-1 margin in favor of reinstating a two-term limit on elected officials, the issue, which has been eating at many New Yorkers since Michael Bloomberg’s 2008 decision to overturn the law, would appear to finally be settled.
But Anthony Perez Cassino, a lawyer from the Bronx and member of this summer’s Charter Revision Commission, says he is not done yet. Cassino is already putting together the pieces for a new term limits battle next year.
In August, after a protracted and confusing procedural fight, the Charter Revision Commission decided by a small majority to allow all officials who were elected before Nov. 2, 2010, to serve a full three terms.
That means the two-term limit approved by voters on Tuesday would not fully kick into effect until 2021.
During the commission hearings, Cassino argued that this would be an affront to the voters who clearly had twice stated that they wanted all officials to have two terms. And even before the term-limits vote on Tuesday, Cassino was laying the groundwork for a citizen-led ballot question in 2011 that would give voters the chance to also roll back the term of all current elected officials from three to two.
“I’m 100 percent on board with the idea,” Cassino said. “We didn’t go far enough to heal the wounds of 2008.”
The change would affect all City Council members elected in 2005 and 2009 (plus Council Member David Greenfield, elected in 2010), as well as Public Advocate Bill De Blasio, Comptroller John Liu, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.
Cassino has already begun to reach out to current and former elected officials who might support the effort, potential donors who could pay for a signature gathering effort, and a prominent election lawyer to fight legal challenges.