Sunday, December 21, 2014

Gordon sponsors legislation for term limits in Oneida County Legislature

ONEIDA COUNTY, N.Y. (WKTV) - David Gordon of New Hartford has only been a legislator for a year and a half, but believes limiting a legislator's time in office to 10 years would bring new and fresh ideas to a body that he believes has lost some of its luster.

Gordon, a democrat who represents the county's 14th district has introduced his term limit legislation to the Chairman of the Board of Legislators who will review it and determine whether it will be brought in front of the Government Operations Committee.

That committee of eleven legislators would then determine whether it should be introduced to the entire legislature.

Monday morning, Gordon told News Channel 2 that this is not a new idea, but it's time for it to finally be voted on, not by the legislature, but by the people of Oneida County, "This is not a new idea, this is something that has been implemented in other counties throughout New York. We're pretty much at that point that we can follow suit with them, essentially building accountability, and building a relationship with the voters once again, and I think sending another piece of legislation to public referendum is something that sits well with the constituents of my district and throughout Oneida County."

You may recall voters recently voted in favor of reducing the size of the legislature from 29 down to 23.

That reduction takes effect next year after this November's election.

The redistricting has recently been finalized.

As part of Gordon's term limit legislation, he would also like to limit the term of the County Executive and County Comptroller to eight years.

Republican George Joseph, who is the majority leader and represents the county's 10th district has been a legislator for more than a decade.

Joseph says he would not vote for term limits because he says county legislators do not make much money, they are not career politicians, and this is issue does not compare to state and federal politicians.

He says the legislators are in office only to make the county better, and he believes experience helps the legislative body.

Joseph also adds that there is already a Charter Review Committee made of of legislators and members of the public which looks at ideas just like this one.

He says the current process of having the public vote for legislators every two years works, "We have some senior legislators, we have some freshman, most of them are in between, maybe the average is five years, two and a half terms, every two yeas, you're up for review."

David Gordon hopes that his legislation to limit the terms will get on this November's ballot.

But it has a long way to go.

It is now in the hands of the chairman of the board who will decide whether to bring it to Government Operations Committee.