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The City Council will vote Thursday on the mayor's proposal to extend term limits for city officials by four years.
A spokesperson for the council speaker said the last-minute addition to Thursday's agenda was made Tuesday.
The latest tally of council members has 18 in favor of the extension, 21 against, and 12 still undecided.
Typically, when the speaker puts a bill up for a vote, there is enough support to pass it. However, the opposition to this bill is very vocal.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said that if the council votes down the legislation, he will not push to have it overruled by a voter referendum, despite a new poll out Tuesday showing the New Yorkers overwhelmingly want to have a say in the matter.
"I don't think the city needs another campaign," said Bloomberg.
The Quinnipiac University poll was released Tuesday, and is very similar to the exclusive NY1 News poll conducted last week.
According to Quinnipiac, city voters oppose extending term limits to 12 years for Mayor Michael Bloomberg by a 51-to-45 percent margin. NY1's poll showed a six-percentage point difference.
Both polls show that participants favored term limits for city officials by 62 percentage points.
When asked who should make the decision on term limits, both polls found a large majority of New Yorkers say the voters, although the Quinnipiac poll found an even wider discrepancy.
Quinnipiac surveyed more than a thousand registered city voters this past week.
The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points.
Meanwhile, council members continued to make up their mind over the legislation.
City Councilman Peter Vallone Jr., who was originally undecided on the matter, said Tuesday that he will back the mayor's proposal.
"After much thought, I have decided to vote to extend the current number of terms from two to three," said Vallone. "While I believe, and most people agree, that a referendum would be the best way to alter term limits, at this point I think it's more important to make a huge improvement in our government than to insist on a special election that could cause government paralysis during these trying times."
Brooklyn Councilwoman Sara Gonzalez also announced her support for the bill Tuesday.
On the other hand, Councilman James Oddo and former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, who lost the 2005 mayoral race to Bloomberg, both came out against the City Council making the decision Tuesday.
"'Process' does matter. Sometimes process matters a lot," said Oddo in a statement Tuesday afternoon. "In this case, process is not simply a philosophical exercise or some ethereal meandering; it is the essence of democracy."
"I can't tell you, how upset I am, that government today, and leaders today seem to be rolling over en masse, and letting this hijacking of democracy occur, right under the noses of New Yorkers," said Ferrer.
Opponents of the bill said the mayor and the speaker are working to persuade other undecided council members to vote yes by threatening to strip them of their committee chairmanships, but such charges were denied by both sides of City Hall.
"The level of carrot-and-stick here is off the charts," said Brooklyn Councilman Bill de Blasio.
Opponents have also vowed to take the issue, and the mayor, to court.
On Monday, Rochester businessman Tom Golisano said he would fund a series of television, radio, and newspaper advertisements opposing the plan.
Golisano praised Bloomberg for his work as mayor, but said Monday that the public – and not the council – should decide whether to change the term limits law.
"The people have spoken twice, 1993 and 1996," said Golisano. "They do want term limits for City Council and mayor. Now is their anything more democratic than the people making this decision? And now the City Council wants to violate the will of the people. To maintain the spirit of democracy, there should be at least another public referendum."
Another billionaire, cosmetics heir Ron Lauder, who bank-rolled the original push for term limits, also rejoined the fight, reportedly only wanting Bloomberg to serve a third term.
The New York Times said Lauder does not want council members in their first terms staying in office for 12 years.
This could put Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who supports an extension, in a tight spot. The paper said her aides already told first term members they'll be allowed to run for third terms.
A good government group held a rally Tuesday against the legislation, recommending a voter referendum.
Two powerful unions are lined up on opposite sides of the term limits battle Monday.
Healthcare workers union SEIU 1199 released a statement Monday opposing the term limits extension.
"This effort undermines the basic principles of democracy and will only serve to erode the voting public's already shaky confidence in city government," said the statement. "To override the will of the voters sets a dangerous precedent and is a breach of the public's trust."
But the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association announced support of the bill.
PBA President Pat Lynch said the current council members understand the concerns of city police officers and that educating new members on those issues could slow down progress.
The PBA and the city recently agreed on a new contract for city officers, but Lynch insisted that has nothing to do with the union's position on term limits.