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Utica Common Council discusses new legislation regarding term limits again

Utica Common Council discusses new legislation regarding term limits again Wednesday night.

Posted: Dec 2, 2020 11:16 PM

UTICA, N.Y. - Utica Common Council discusses new legislation regarding term limits again Wednesday night.

This is the second meeting in a row that legislation was introduced regarding term limits for city officials.

It's clear that most of the members of the council want to go back to eight year term limits, they just have different ideas.

Three different council members have now brought up legislation that would reinstate eight year terms, Celeste Friend, Joe Betrus, and Frank Meola.

Meola's legislation is the only one that wasn't voted down on Wednesday night.

In 1992, the people of Utica voted by an overwhelming margin to place term limits on elected officials.

They voted to limit the mayor, the comptroller, the common council president, and council members to eight years in any one position.

In 2017, the common council voted for a new law that overrode that referendum and extended term limits to 12 years.

Meola's legislation would turn back limits to eight years, but it would also grandfather in those on the council who were re-elected pursuant to the 2017 law.

"It'll be effecting the council after this for what they'll be running to," Anthony Garramone, the attorney for the council said. "So, if you win in 2021, in 2023 if you run, you run for a different term. It also afforded certain people, like the comptroller, Councilman Williamson, Councilman LoMedico, and Councilman McNiel to run under the terms that they thought they'd be running on in 2019."

In a 6-3 vote, the council decided to put this legislation on the table, meaning it can be voted on at the next meeting on Dec. 16.

Council members Friend, Moody, and Betrus voted against it.

If the council passes the legislation, there will have to be a public hearing.

After the public hearing, the mayor can either sign the legislation into law or veto it.

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