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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Term Limit "Debate" Breaks Out at Community Board Meeting

Assemblyman Jeff Dinowitz started it off at the monthly meeting of Community Board 7 at Scott Tower in Bedford Park by first denouncing Mayor Bloomberg's plan to consolidate (or, as Dinowitz would say, close) senior centers throughout the five boroughs.

Speaking to a crowd of about 50 seniors, board members, meeting regulars, elected officials and politico staffers (a guy from Comptroller and mayoral hopeful Bill Thompson's staff was there, for example), Dinowitz then went on to say he also opposed the mayor's push to extend term limits without a referendum from the people, saying the people voted to enforce term limits twice (in 1993 and 1996) and should have the opportunity to do it again.

As Dinowitz began, Council majority leader Joel Rivera and his older sister Assemblywoman Naomi Rivera walked into the room. Joel, who supports the mayor's effort, took the mic next and offered his rebuttal, calling the term limits struggle "The Battle of the Benefactors," a reference to Bloomberg and fellow billionaire Ronald S. Lauder (the cosmetics heir who bankrolled the first two referendums). He then said he supported the mayor's bill because it prevents "the incapability of the voters to vote for who they want to vote for." He added that if the incumbents aren't doing their job, the voters can always "kick the bums out!"

While Naomi decided not to weigh in on the matter, later in the meeting, Kenny Agosto, the male district leader in Naomi's 80th assembly district (who is on the outs with the Rivera clan after he backed the Bronx Democratic rebellion, led by Dinowitz, among others), made a passionate speech about why the council should vote against the term limits, citing how leaders have been replaced in times of tremendous hardship in the past (like how Bloomberg replaced Giuliani shortly after 9/11).

Joel encouraged people to come down to City Hall for the coming council vote on Thursday, saying it would should be a pretty raucous affair and a chance to see "the democratic process in action."

1 comment:

  1. I shall continue to oppose Mayor Bloomberg's term limits extension. I fully support the federal lawsuit. This is about due process. This is about the city council legislating for their own benefit above the express will of the people. I testified before the city council and in front of the mayor, I looked him in the eye and told him many of my constituents like him, but the majority of my constituents voted twice for term limits. I sincerely hope the federal courts sustains the sacred votes of 2 million New Yorkers.


    Kenny Agosto (D)The Bronx
    Democratic District Leader - 80th AD


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