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New York council amends charter to extend term limits for Bloomberg

[JURIST] The New York City Council [official website] passed a resolution [text] Thursday to amend the city's charter [PDF text] by extending elected city officials' term limits from two to three terms of four years. The resolution, which took effect upon its passage by a 29-22 vote, allows Mayor Michael Bloomberg [official website] to pursue his plans to seek a third term [NYT report], announced early this month. The council stressed the importance of continuity in leadership during a financial crisis. The New York Times has more.

On Wednesday, a New York State judge rejected a petition [JURIST report] brought by two City Council members trying to prevent a council vote, arguing it represented a conflict of interest because it would also extend term limits for council members. Bloomberg's resolution was proposed too late to place a measure on the ballot in November, allowing the council to consider the issue. Critics have suggested that the council ignored the wishes of the voters and that the action would prevent viable candidates from running for office in 2009 because of Bloomberg's popularity and personal wealth. Twice during the 1990s New York City voters passed referendums on term limits [NYT report].

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