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Clarkstown Taxpayers Hand In Term Limits Petition To Town Clerk

3,450 signatures gathered in support

Clarkstown Taxpayers President Guy Gervasi delivered the organization’s petition with 3,450 signatures seeking for the town supervisor and town council positions to the Town Clerk’s office on Tuesday.

The organization is seeking to establish term limits that would restrict the town supervisor and town board members taking office on January 1, 2012 to eight consecutive years in office. Its members presented the petitions at a town board meeting in mid August and asked the town board to place a public referendum on the ballot for November or pass a resolution setting term limits.

At that time, Clarkstown Town Attorney Amy Mele and an independent legal expert issued opinions that the term limits proposal could not be put on the November ballot as a referendum. Mele said state law did not allow the board to place the issue on the ballot. Robert Spolzino, an attorney with Wilson Elser Moskowtiz Edelman & Dicker LLP of White Plains, agreed and said Clarkstown officials did not have the authority to put the term limits question on the ballot as a referendum but did say the town board could vote on term limits.

Mele received the petition from Town Clerk Justin Sweet on Wednesday who asked for her advice on whether it should be sent to the New York State Board of Elections as requested by the Clarkstown Taxpayers. She said she expects her legal position will remain the same and she will not recommend the petition be forwarded to the state board.

“I don’t anticipate my advice will change on that matter,” she said. “I will send my opinion to the town clerk and the town clerk will advise them (the Clarkstown Taxpayers).”

Gervasi said the Clarkstown Taxpayers’ steering committee will meet on September 12 to review its options.

“However, it should be remembered that at this point, it doesn’t really matter whether this petition is legal or not, what really matters and should be remembered by all town board members, but especially those up for re-election, is that the vast majority of Clarkstown voters want Term Limits now and expect this Town Board to do something about this, which they can easily and legally do by passing an eight-year Term Limit resolution imposing Term Limits on themselves,” said Gervasi.

At the August Town Board meeting, Councilman Frank Borelli (R-New City) said the idea had merit and suggested the town board discuss different approaches at an upcoming meeting.  Board Member George Hoehmann (R-Nanuet) agreed with Borelli’s recommendation.

 

Tony T September 08, 2011 at 01:23 PM
The best term limit is to vote them out in November! The Clarkstown old boy network has now circled the wagons and are in a defensive position they will tie this issue up in legal red tape for years the Clarkstown Taxpayers, if they think they have the votes, should now turn their efforts to voitng these people out in November!!!
Tamara Jones September 08, 2011 at 02:14 PM
I would like to pose a few legitimate questions. What exactly haven't the Clarkstown Board members and/or the Supervisor no provided for the constituentsof Clarkstown? What have they done that has been a detriment to the constituents? As a Clarkstown resident, I have only seen reputable, conscientious actions taken by the board members and the supervisor.
Mike Hirsch September 08, 2011 at 03:55 PM
This petition has nothing to do with any particular member of the town board or supervisor. It simply has to do with citizen's rights as upheld by the NYS Supreme Court. Apparently, the law in NYS is different for citizens of cities (who can force a referendum on term limits) and citizens of towns (who apparently cannot). We are just looking for equality under the law, a basic American right.
Thomas Leonard September 08, 2011 at 06:59 PM
The petition does not implement term limits, but rather places the question on the ballot for the voters to decide. Why not let us vote on it? Clearly, they are afraid.
fred September 08, 2011 at 10:18 PM
why does highway supt get a free pass on term limits
Alexia jones September 09, 2011 at 11:42 AM
Do the town attorney(Amy Wagner Mele)and her brothers Brian Wagner(building inspector)and Chris Wagner(highway dept.)get to stay forever in the jobs that their father (David M.Wagner)got them?
Tony T September 09, 2011 at 12:14 PM
This is why we need term limits.....to get the nepotism, cronyism out of the system. If you could run a "DNA" test of Clarkstown and County Employess you would see most come from the same gene pool. Why dosen't Clarkstiown post it's job openeing on line.....the answer is above. iT IS SO YOU CAN GET OUR BROTHER, SISTER, COUSIN A JOB.
Percy Marvelous September 11, 2011 at 01:25 AM
We have term limits already. They are called elections. If the majority of the voting people choose to reelect someone to an office then I suppose they are satisfied with their performance. Should the voting public not be satisfied then said office holders will be voted out. It appears that some people want to usurp the will of the people. I suppose they have an axe to grind but they have every right to grumble and carry on. If you wish to change things then organize and get your vote out. It really is simple.
Lance Dugby September 11, 2011 at 03:00 AM
That only works when you have two opponents...Gromack runs unopposed and has contributions from special interests of over $1,000,000 in his war chest

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