UTICA – A former Utica City Councilman is trying to get a measure placed on the ballot this November for residents to vote on term limits, and an upcoming court date could make that possible.
Last fall, the Utica Common Council voted in favor of extending term limits for city officials to 12 years instead of eight.
Former Councilman Lou Critelli wants the voters to be able to determine that rather than the Common Council, and he needed 440 signatures on his second round of petition-filing to get term limits onto this November’s ballot. He ended up with 774 signatures.
Now, Critelli and his supporters say that Michelle George, the city of Utica clerk, has to certify those signatures within 20 days. However, George says she has to wait 60 days before she certifies the signatures. The two parties have different interpretations of the municipal home rule law, and they’re taking it to an Oneida County grand jury to make a decision.
At 11 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 29, Judge Erin Gall will hear the case at the Oneida County Supreme Courthouse in Utica.
If Gall rules in favor of the city, the measure to revert the term limits back to eight years will not make it onto the ballot this fall.
Critelli’s attorney, Mark Wolber, says they will make every effort to pack the court room with concerned Utica citizens.