YONKERS, NY – The Yonkers City Council held an internal vote on a procedural rule that would allow the City Council to proceed forward on a vote on Tuesday, November 22nd to once again extend term limits without public input. In response to Tuesday’s vote, NYCD16-Indivisible and other community advocates will hold a rally at 6 PM calling on Mayor Mike Spano and the Yonkers City Council to instead hold a series of hearings and a public vote on the issue.
In 1994 and in 2001, Yonkers citizens overwhelmingly voted to support keeping a two four-year term limit on the Mayor and Yonkers City Council members. Despite this, Mayor Spano and his city council allies voted themselves a 3rd term limit extension in 2018. Now they want to do it again. Advocates are demanding the city provide time for a public hearing, public notice before it gets put into law, and 8-day notice before the hearing so the public can be aware.
Congressman Jamaal Bowman released the following statement in response:
“Public trust in government is vital to a healthy democracy. And it will only remain if the government abides by its own rules and has true transparency in all its decision-making. This is a decision that should be made by the people of Yonkers, not the very people who would benefit from this secretive vote. It’s a clear conflict of interest.” “I join with community advocates in calling on the Yonkers City Council to postpone a vote on term limit extensions until several hearings around the city can be conducted on the issue. We must always stand with the working-class people of Yonkers and NY-16 whose voices and decisions govern our democracy.”
The New York Working Families Party released the following statement on the Yonkers City Council proposal to extend the Mayoral term limits again:
“The Working Families Party strongly believes that voters should have a say on whether term limits should be extended for the Yonkers mayoral elections. For the Mayor and Council to make that decision alone is the kind of backroom politics that make voters believe that their voices don’t count. We urge the Council to not make such an important decision using the process that has been proposed. The term limit extension should be denied or put to a voter referendum. Let the voices of the voters be heard!”
Statements from Advocates:
“NYCD16-Indivisible calls for the voice of the people of Yonkers to be heard! We demand a truly democratic process to determine the will of the people of Yonkers on this issue. WE should vote on extending term limits, not the Yonkers City Council, who will benefit from their own vote!” – NYCD16-Indivisible
“Mayor Mike Spano’s attempts to change the city charter and extend his own term limits through the city council is unacceptable. It is a blatant attack on our city, our democracy, and our people. A complete disregard of the will of the people of Yonkers. LHVDSA urges the City Council not to approve any changes to the city charter that would extend term limits without involving the citizens of Yonkers first. “ – Lower Hudson Valley DSA
“In 2018, the decision to expand the mayoral term limit was not brought to a vote for the people of Yonkers to weigh in. It cannot be that in a democracy the term limit of a city’s executive gets expanded every time he or she comes close to the end of that term limit. YSM calls on the City Council not to vote this through. Our members and neighbors deserve a city government that truly represents the people.” – Yonkers Sanctuary Movement
There will be a public hearing at City Hall next Monday, November 21st at 6:30 p.m for residents to express their approval or opposition for the second term limit extension in four years, with a vote follow the next day, Tuesday, November 22nd.
Stay tune to Black Westchester for more on this developing story!