New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn sent this letter out yesterday via email to New Yorkers who had contacted her expressing their opposition (prior to the vote) to the City Council overturning of voted-in term limits.
Ms. Quinn writes:
As I’m sure you now know, on October 23rd the Council voted to extend term limits for city elected officials from two to three four-year terms.
I understand how strongly you and others felt about this issue. This decision wasn’t one that the Council and I took lightly, and it came with a great deal of deliberation, dialogue and debate, including two days and nights of public hearings.
WSP Blog Note: which she didn’t attend.
I realize there’s very little I can say at this point to convince you that my support for extending term limits was based solely on what I absolutely believed in my heart was best for our City: that in these extraordinarily difficult times, New Yorkers should have the choice to keep their current leadership or vote us out at the polls.
WSP Blog: As Council Member Bill de Blasio (Brooklyn) said the day of the crucial vote … by taking away the voters’ right to choose, Mayor Bloomberg and Christine Quinn make the argument, in true Orwellian fashion, that they are giving the voters more choice.
I would like to promise you this, though. As Speaker, I will continue to work as hard as I can each and every day to earn your trust and respect and to help make city government more responsive and effective for all New Yorkers.
WSP Blog: Responsive… would have been listening to the voices of New Yorkers -89% of whom stated in a Quinnipiac poll they did not think the New York City Council should overturn these previous votes.
Next November, you and other voters will have the opportunity to vote for me, any of my colleagues, or Mike Bloomberg for another four years – or to make a change. The decision will ultimately be yours. That, to me, is the essence of democracy.*
As difficult as this decision was, I appreciate and respect your views and hope we can continue to work together during these tough economic times.
Christine C. Quinn, Speaker
* definition (Webster’s Dictionary): democracy (n) : government by the people