“We have exceeded our goal of 3,000 signatures and expect to have 400 citizens show up at the August 16th Town Board Meeting to help us press our case,” said Mike Hirsch founder of Clarkstown Taxpayers.
The petition seeks to limit the terms of the town’s supervisor and council member positions and prevent them from serving more than eight consecutive years. Organization members began collecting signatures in June and reached the 3,000 mark by the end of July - prior to the group’s cutoff date of August 10.
Clarkstown Councilman Member Frank Borelli (New City-R) said he wants to know more about the proposal which applies only to the town supervisor and board members not all elected positions in the town or the state. He thinks a dialogue with the group will be informative.
"If the concept is proper, it should be applied to all offices," Borelli said. "I think their intent is good in terms of elected officials acting in the best interest of the people."
Hirsch thinks it is telling that the target number was reached early.
“Most of the people that we met were in favor of our term limit petition,” he said. “I think the significance of hitting our number early is that we have a very large and strong group and following. The message is very clear - politics should be a service, not a career.”
Hirsch said once the petition is presented to the town board there are two different approaches the board members can take.
“We would prefer that the Town Board put our on the ballot as a referendum rather than to use taxpayer money defending a lawsuit that we will bring against them, and win, as the law is clearly on our side, should they fail to do so,” he said.
The group wants a term limits proposal on the November ballot and have it apply to the supervisor and council members taking office as of January 1, 2012.
Prior to the town board meeting, the Clarkstown Taxpayers will hold a general membership meeting on Tuesday, August 9 at the New City Library. Bob Dillon, a local resident who has studied water resources in the Rockland County area, will discuss United Water’s proposed desalination plant for the Hudson River.