EXCLUSIVE: Update of Referendum Effort to Extend Two Term Limit Revealed By HEZI ARIS

eHezi Archives 19 Comments

Ehezi_charicatureYonkers voters have twice
visited the issue of term limits; both times, Yonkersites chose to limit the
maximum number of terms for elected office to be restricted to two terms. The
effort to rescind the two term limitation has been instigated by the focus and
effort of Yonkers City Council President Chuck Lesnick who is completing the
third year of a four year maximum limit to his second and final term. Mr
Lesnick hopes overturning the two-term limit will afford him a lifeline to his
waning political prospects.  Which could
happen were term limits rescinded in the City of Yonkers.

The effort to rescind the
two-term limitation has evolved from the rationale that rescinding the two-term
limit is of benefit to Yonkers for falling in line with New York City and
Westchester County whose elected officials are permitted a three-term limit.
Yonkers is proud of its independent demeanor and does not easily accept the lead
of others. Were one to be comforted by standards elsewhere, Yonkers can find
solace with the federal standard that clings to the concept of a two term

Initially, the effort to
rescind the two-term limit was the lone quest initiative of Yonkers City
Council President Lesnick. The effort was initiated with little enthusiasm.
Soon, however, the effort would gain support. Surprisingly, support came from
Mayor Mike Spano. Historically, Mayor Spano stood juxtaposed against extending
term limitations to three terms that continue to be promoted by some circles.
Even so, Yonkers City Hall has engaged as many as ten staff members to collect
signatures to petition for the overturn of the present two-term limit. City
Hall’s conduct transcends their long-standing position to maintain the two-term
limitation. So what’s changed City Hall’s demeanor? The answer is politics.

City Hall believes they will have
gained the acquiescence of Chuck Lesnick by affording Chuck Lesnick a political
lifeline. His hold on the office of the Yonkers City Council President, were
term limits to be rescinded would keep a compliant and weak Chuck Lesnick in
place. Even so, Mr Lesnick has a streak of independence that makes him
potentially dangerous to his being kept in line. Even so, Mayor Spano’s tactic
will afford Mayor Spano a thankful and more compliant Mr Lesnick.

The effort to rescind the
two-term limit has now moved into second gear. The Yonkers Tribune has learned that almost 7,000 petition signatures
have been presented to the Office of the Yonkers City Clerk. Mr Lesnick is said
to believe the signatures presented to the City Clerk must be accepted as
valid, while others suggest the signatures presented can only be validated  by the City Clerk’s office. Validation of the
signatures presented to the City Clerk must be divulged as valid or invalid by
September 21, 2012, if the process should get this resolution before the public
as a resolution in time for the November 6, 2012 vote.

Stay tuned for the fight in
the public over whether the signatures of those wanting to rescind the present
two-term limit must be accepted as they are presented or must undergo a
validation process managed by the Yonkers City Clerk. Unfortunately, the
Yonkers City Charter is ambiguous on this issue. Will this issue become another
litigious concern that will need to go before the courts for remedy? Can
Yonkersites afford the drama? Can Yonkersites afford the litigious costs to
salvage the atrophying political prospects of Mr. Lesnick? The only issue
before Yonkersites today is whether Yonkers must be saddled with and
responsible to maintain Mr Lesnick’s employment? 

eHeziEXCLUSIVE: Update of Referendum Effort to Extend Two Term Limit Revealed By HEZI ARIS

Comments 19

  1. It’ s Chuck again. Defending his position while pretending to be someone else. He thinks if he misspells a few words, we won’t recognize him. Nice try. Yonkers residents are not stupid.

  2. What will this be called, something misleading like “Clarify Term Limits” or “Equality in Term Limits?” So, the voter will think they want term limits and vote yes to clarify that, but the unwittingly approve 3 terms….this is EXACTLY the kind up misleading stuff going on here already. Plus, saying that it’s “unequal” if Westchester County has 3 terms and Yonkers has two. So what! We know in Yonkers that term limits have been the best way to curb career corruption in elected office. If a politician is honest, then he or she can surely find MORE ways to continue serving the public after their terms expire. Hezi, is there going to be a hearing on this matter, or is Lesnick going around that too? We have to be sure that the name of the prop is NOT misleading. It must be -INCREASE TERM LIMITS TO 3 terms. Yes or No. It MUST BE VERY CLEAR TO VOTERS.

  3. It failed before but who knows. Voters must realize that there is a two way valve on this. Dislike a person and you could be stuck for a long time or get rid of a fine employee(they do work for us)because of a limit.

  4. And there it is! Blame the unions while the dolts completely mismanage the city. Afraid you might have to find a real job once uncle Mikey gets kicked to the curb by a control board?

  5. And if that doesn’t work out we can try 8 or 16 years… And if that doesn’t work we can try 8 or 20 years…And if that doesn’t work we can always play the union card and blame them for our short-comings…pathetic!

  6. Everyone knows how calculatingly (don’t know if this is even a word) these propositions are worded on ballots, with deliberate attempts to mislead the voter. Morever, with our new and “improved” paper ballots from hell, the props are on the reverse side. We are lucky if voters even vote for what is on the cover side of the ballot, let alone turn them over and see what is on the reverse side. Election day is right around the corner. The opposition to this must get their message out that this effort is nothing but a pathethic and overt effort by lame duck politicians to keep their feed-at-the-public trough lifestyle going ad-infinitum.

  7. Not to be afraid of , the voters spoke TWICE already ..those signatures were supermarket and on the street signatures and the likely hood is most are invalid , lesnick and his gang were seen at train stations and supermarkets. Those signatures are NOT voters.

  8. Hezi writes: “Yonkers can find solace with the federal standard that clings to the concept of a two term limit.” There is only term limits for President not for Congress or Senate. And after hearing Clinton last week at the DNC, could we not drop those term limits and let him run agian.

  9. Of course the unions dont like term limits because it means that the politicians dont have to lsiten to them after they get re-elected. If facr that should be why most citiznes should oppose term limits.

  10. While the voters have twice approved term limits they were never given the choice between 8 and 12 years. Close to 7,000 voters want them on the ballot for this November. I dont know why there is a threat of litigation since that is a large cushion even if one out of three signatures are not valid and besides, why are the opponents afriad of a vote by the citizens in November. If they are so sure that the voters will reject term limits put it on the ballot and see what happens.

  11. Yes, Chuck Lesnick is a self-serving leech, and extending term limits was his idea. What you are all missing is that extending term limits benefits everyone on the city council, AND Mayor Spano. That is why none of them are going to stop Lesnick, and some of them, including Spano, are helping him behind the scenes. Once again, they have absolutely no regard for the tax payer.

  12. The Spano’s were the biggest supporters for term limits , when Spencer and the city unions wanted to repeal them , Spano’s worked hard and defeated the measure. Mike Spano is a LIAR…

  13. This is blatantly self-serving of Chuck Lesnick, who postures (endlessly) as if he’s serving the public, but he has a grandiose image of himself, accomplishing little or even sabotaging the good work of others if he can’t control things or take credit. A deeply insecure fellow. It pains me to write this, but now that he’s trying to get yet another term, oh please, it’s quite enought!
    The signatures are to be validated by who? A political appointee who is rumored to owe favors everywhere and reportedly has a poor work ethic – Alvarado. Jose Alvarado may just find a “rubber stamp” method to please Lesnick and whomever else wants this to go through. That method will land in court real fast. Good. The will of the people was CLEAR on this issue two times already – no more than two terms. That’s it. But leave it to clingy Lesnick to want a third term. If Spano’s staff has been helping to get this on the ballot, maybe it’s playing it both ways – please Lesnick so you have him for whatever promises you extracted for this “help”, and then know it will get defeated anyway. WE desperately need term limits to root out career corruption in this city.
    Thank you Hezi for the article.

  14. This proposal must be knocked down. Giving these politicians another 4 year term makes them too comfortable in their positions. I would rather vote for a dead fish, than vote for that boob, Lesnick.

  15. Spano is not in favor of these term limits and his staff was not working on this.
    EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is NOT an opinion piece, but your comment IS. The Spanos were always againstrescinding the two term limitation. Despite that, Mayoral Staff were directed to collect signatures. It was based on a political accommodation deal. That IS the rest of the story. My aology if I did not better explain that aspect of the story in the telling of the update. I thought I had; evidently not sufficiently well to be understood by you. Kindly, Hezi

  16. No one ever petitioned me. These signatures must be challenged. What deals did Chuck promise, that is the real issue here, plus we need to go back to 2 year terms. These councilmen all needed to be termed. They are all useless and a waste of money. I’m surprised Spano hasen’t suggested to get rid of them in his penny cost cutting measures.

Leave a Reply

This comment will be displayed anonymously. Your name and email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.