The indispensable Mayor Bloomberg

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is convinced that the Big Apple will need his financial skill for at least another four years. And so Bloomberg, who would have been term-limited next year, convinced the New York City Council to amend the city’s term-limits law so he can seek re-election in 2009.

This despite the fact that voters in New York have twice approved term limits. But the change was no gimme for Bloomberg. The 29-22 vote in favor of amending the law came only after 20 hours of intense council debate.

Still, if Bloomberg truly believes he is so indispensable to the city, he should be able to convince the voters of New York to amend the term-limits law. Instead, with polls showing that city residents overwhelmingly opposed the idea, he chose to ask only the permission of the City Council.

Voters, of course, will still have the opportunity to make their displeasure known. They can reject Bloomberg’s bid for a third term when the city election rolls around next year.

However, with the power of the incumbency behind him, not to mention a personal fortune estimated at $20 billion, Bloomberg has a great advantage in that election. Already, it’s been reported that several potential candidates dropped their campaign plans when the council voted to allow Bloomberg to seek another term.

This newspaper has long backed term limits for most public officials, even though we recognize there are both benefits and costs that come with such laws. But it is amazing to us how many public officials such as Bloomberg, when nearing the ends of their appointed terms, determine it is in the best interest of the people they serve for them to extend their time in office.


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