Tag Archives: NY charter commission

Vote Your Conscience, But Vote!

Imagine if the Board of Elections put seven separate elected officials — Congressman, Senator, Governor, Comptroller, Attorney General, Assembly member, and State Senator — on the same ballot line, and made you mark just one oval to choose all of them.

Sounds like the old Soviet Union.

The decision by the 2010 New York City Charter Revision Commission to group seven unrelated proposals under ballot Question 2 — based on an opinion that the ballot was too small to show them separately — is just as cynical: It’s a way of telling voters, “If we let you vote seven or eight times, you could get confused and forget to vote ‘Yes’ on everything we want.” Continue reading

Vote “No” on Question 2

City Limits has paid CityPragmatist a great compliment by prominently featuring our views about ballot Question 2, a collection of unrelated charter revision “reforms” to be placed before voters on Election Day.

Question 2, along with Question 1, which is about term limits, will appear on the “back” of Tuesday’s two-sided paper ballot. Continue reading

Goldstein: We Understood

“The vast majority of the members of the commission publicly are opposed to term limits, period.”

(Matthew Goldstein, chair of the 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission, speaking at New York Law School on Friday, October 22, 2010)

“But we understood that by accepting to sit on this commission that we wanted to bring back for referendum the idea ‘do you want to go back to what was in place before 2008’ and that’s what we did and that’s what you’re going to be voting on.”

(Matthew Goldstein, ten seconds later)

So much for the pretense that a mayorally-appointed charter revision commission can act independently.

And so much for voters’ ability to decide whether term limits should exist at all. The choice we’ll get on Election Day is “two or three 4-year terms, but if you choose two terms this won’t take full effect until 2021.” Continue reading

Turn the Ballot Over!

The NYC Charter Revision Commission has published its instructions for voters — the first of which says “turn the ballot over.”

Presumably, the commission isn’t telling us to skip the front, where we can vote for governor and comptroller, among others.

But once we turn the ballot over, we’re into charter country, where things aren’t always what they seem to be. Continue reading

Mayor Bloomberg Had Nothing To Do With It.

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg

Once again, the Daily News has criticized the work of the 2010 NYC Charter Revision Commission without implicating Mike Bloomberg, who appointed it.

A September 10 News editorial echoes a NY Times poll, which showed over 70% of New Yorkers are disappointed by the charter commission’s decision to offer voters a chance to restore two-term limits, but not until 2021, and to use a second ballot question to lump together seven separate charter proposals. Continue reading

Loosey-Goosey Term Limits

Tuesday’s NY Times reports that nearly three-fourths of New Yorkers want to effectively reverse the 2008 Local Law that overturned two-turn limits for the mayor and other NYC elected officials. Unfortunately, voters will not get the chance to do this in November.

The charter revision commission convened by Mayor Bloomberg earlier this year has produced only two ballot questions. On the first — whether to restore two-term limits — a “No” vote will retain the existing three-term limit, and a “Yes” vote will reimpose the two-term limit, but not for today’s incumbents. Only newcomers who first get elected in 2013 or afterward will be subject to the two-term restriction. Continue reading

Hats Off to Haberman!

We have to take our hat off to Clyde Haberman, a superbly skilled journalist, for bringing humor to his Times story about the NYC charter revision — and for seeing through the pretense that Mayor Michael Bloomberg had nothing to do with the charter commission’s decisions.

It’s worth saying again that the commission’s first ballot question for November will deny voters any chance to restore two-term limits immediately or eliminate term limits entirely. And the second question will lump together so many independent changes that voters will be forced to chew a lot of inedible chaff to get the few grains of wheat that the commission is sprinkling at our feet. To us, it’s an unacceptable diet. Continue reading