Councilwoman Mealy: Voters Should Decide Term Limits
So should city politicians be the ones to decide whether they get a shot at a third term? Or should it be the voters, who have said no to that twice already?
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As the station continues its survey of all 51 council members and their constituents, NY1's Roger Clark spent Friday morning in the 41st Council District in Brooklyn, where the councilwoman had been on the fence – but has now taken a stand.
Some Bedford-Stuyvesant residents said Friday morning that they are dead-set against changing the rules so the mayor can run for a third term.
"I don't think he did such a bad job or anything like, that but it's been two terms forever," said one local resident. "I don't know why he has to change it to three."
That's exactly what he wants to do, submitting legislation to the City Council early this week to change the law.
"I don't think the government and policy should be bent to one person's advantage or agenda," said another. "I think if everyone has been serving two terms let's do two terms and keep it moving."
Other area residents said while they are not necessarily against changing the law, they do not think it's for the City Council to decide, since voters approved term limits twice.
"If it's brought to the general public to vote on, fine," said a Bedford-Stuyvesant resident. "But if he is just trying to have the City Council pass it, no."
"I'd feel more empowered, myself, if it was turned back to me so I can make my own choice," said another.
"It's a good idea, yeah," said a third. "I think we should have something to say about it."
But not everyone was against the city lawmakers making the decision.
"I think the City Council, they're in that place for a reason," said the resident. "Let's give them the opportunity to exercise their power, their knowledge, and make that choice."
Councilwoman Darlene Mealy represents the neighborhood. She was the last council member to get back to back to NY1 with her position on the issue – saying on Thursday that she had not decided.
But she agreed to talk with the station, and by Friday morning said she had made the decision to oppose the council voting on extending term limits.
"I would approve of a third term, instead of a two term, but it has to be by the people," she said.
Mealy says a council vote would take power away from the city's voters.
"If we never started off with a referendum, that would have been fine, but we have did it twice," Mealy said. "People are accustomed to it now."
There are still other council members who remain undecided on this issue, NY1 plans on visiting their neighborhoods to see if they will share their position.