Onondaga County lawmakers voted to shelve a proposal that would allow the public to vote on whether to impose term limits.
The proposed law would have increased the term of office of county legislators from two years to four years and would have imposed term limits on the county executive, county comptroller and legislators. If approved, the public will vote on the law in November.
Republican lawmaker Ken Bush proposed the law and received support from across the political spectrum.
“I don’t like term limits, but I like the idea of voters having a choice,” said Democratic lawmaker Bill Kinne.
But Majority Leader Brian May told him that was not enough.
“It’s not as easy as people saying, ‘Oh, we want to give it to voters,'” he said. “No, you have a job here, right now, to do. Make that decision and then take it to the voters.”
Several lawmakers — like Republican Julie Abbott — questioned why the proposal was being brought forward now and said more discussion was needed.
“We’re creating a solution to a problem that I just haven’t heard of,” Abbott said.
Ultimately, the legislature decided to table the proposal indefinitely, in a close 9-8 vote.
Bush said he was “extremely disappointed”.
“The concept of not allowing it to be made public for a referendum is really inconvenient,” he said.