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Utica common councilors vote to turn down extending term limits, both sides react

During the last Utica Common Council meeting of the year, Councilman Edward Bucciero, made a motion to reconsider the term limit extension law. Councilman John Jacon, changed his mind this time voting against the extension and it passed.

Posted: Dec 20, 2017 7:24 PM
Updated: Dec 20, 2017 8:12 PM

UTICA, NY-- Back in September the deal was done.

The common council passed a law to extend term limits for the positions of mayor, common council president, comptroller and council members, with a vote of 5-4.

But during the last meeting of the year, on Tuesday night, Councilman Edward Bucciero, at-large, made a motion to reconsider the law. Councilman John Jacon, D-3, changed his mind this time voting against the extension and it passed.

Some common councilors are upset with the most recent vote, including Councilman Jack LoMedico.

"We are at the end of the council meeting when it was actually brought forth," LoMedico said. "We had no indication that John never told us that he was going to vote against this, against the term limits, so that's the real rub here. He really went behind his fellow councilman, the ones that back to him through this last election... we were hurt because of that."

Councilwoman Samantha Colosimo-Testa has been against the term limit extension from the start.

"Obviously I voted against the turn on extension for number of reasons," she said. "One I don't think it's necessary to extend your own terms. I think that if you were to do it on future councils I think would be understandable. The second part I think it should have been a referendum."

Colosimo-Testa also sited that the law the council follows, called the charter, explains the recent vote was legal.

"It's right in our charter and it specifically states that you have the authority to reconsider a piece of legislation,' she said. "Now of you look at the legislation that they passed the local law and said that it didn't come into effect until January 1, 2018. So technically it wasn't a law inside the city, hence the reason why were able to reconsider the question vote it down."

According to the Charter Laws, "at any subsequent meeting any member of the council may make such a motion. If a motion for reconsideration is lost, it shall not be renewed without the unanimous consent of the Council, and no decision of the Common Council shall be reconsidered a second time without the unanimous consent of the Common Council. This rule applies to the term of the Common Council."

Mayor Robert Palmieri said he has no comment at this time and referred to the city's corporation council. Representatives with corporation council said they are researching the vote to determine if it's legal.

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