Rockland Legislature, county executive term limits in future?

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Rockland County Legislator Ed Day, R-New City, says he’s introduced legislation to limit the number of terms county legislators and the county executive can serve. He wants to cap the number at three full terms, or a total of 12 years.

His proposition comes as some residents in Clarkstown, namely those involved in the Clarkstown Taxpayers group, pursue similar legislation on a town level. Both efforts have in part been influenced by local Tea Party members, who are seeking to change the way government operates.

Read more about Day’s resolution by clicking below and watch for a larger story on the issue of term limits by my colleague Hema Easley in coming days.

ED DAY’S NEWS RELEASE:

Rockland County Legislator Ed Day has introduced legislation designed to establish term limits for the County Executive and Legislators. If enacted, present and future elected officials holding these offices would have eligibility for only three (3) full term elections.

“While I believe we are blessed with a ballot box that expresses the will of the people with respect to our elected officials, it is clear to me that establishing term limits is supported by an overwhelming majority of the people as an additional check and balance to governance,” said Legislator Day, adding that “the institution of term limits provides for that check against entrenched interests gaining an overwhelming edge in the people’s government; affords additional chances for fresh perspectives; and more to the point, promotes a level playing field for newcomers to serve the public.”

At present, fifteen states have put legal restrictions on the number of terms an elected official may serve, and while many believe term limits to be a revolutionary new idea, the fact is it is one of the oldest traditions of the American political culture, with roots deep in the colonial era.

Legislator Day said, “Back then, they called it ‘rotation in office’, and nobody batted an eye when Thomas Jefferson proposed term limits for the members of the Continental Congress. In fact, it was not until the New Deal era and thereafter that it became routine for congresspersons to stay in Washington year after year after year. And of course, the highest office in the country – the presidency – has been subject to term limits since 1951 by virtue of the 22nd Amendment of our U.S. Constitution.”

This legislation will be heard at an upcoming meeting of the Special Committee on Rules.

“My legislation is reflective of my core belief of true citizen representation in a manner I believe was envisioned by our Founding Fathers; citizen public servants, not career politicians, who would go forth to serve their neighbors and their Country for a limited time only, then afford other dedicated and like minded citizens a fair opportunity to do the same,” concluded Legislator Day.

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