New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg reportedly plans to announce on Thursday that despite term limits, he will seek a third term in office.
Bloomberg is currently barred from seeking re-election, but he will propose a revision to the city’s 15-year-old term limits law, three people who have been informed of his intentions told The New York Times. The law would otherwise force Bloomberg and dozens of other elected officials out of office in 2009.
He will apparently seek to revise the law through legislation in the City Council rather than through voter approval.
In announcing his plan, Bloomberg — founder of a billion-dollar financial data firm — is expected to argue that the financial crisis in New York City demands his proven business acumen, according to The Times.
Bloomberg has previously said he supports term limits and called an effort to change the law “disgusting.”
Several polls have shown widespread support for maintaining term limits in the city, although under Bloomberg’s plan voters would not have a say regarding a revision of the law.
The revision has a strong chance of passing in the City Council — In August, a Times survey of council members, two thirds of whom are scheduled to leave office in 2009, disclosed that a majority of them are willing to revise the law.
A possible obstacle to Bloomberg’s move has been removed as term-limits advocate Ron Lauder tells the New York Post he would support a temporary change in the law.
Lauder, a billionaire who was primarily responsible for bringing term limits to the city in the 1990s, told the Post he would support a one-time extension from eight years to 12 years because he believes New York needs Bloomberg in these perilous financial times.
“This is welcome news,” Lauder said of Bloomberg’s plan to seek re-election.
“To me, Mayor Bloomberg’s brilliance in the financial sector, particularly Wall Street, would be invaluable.”
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