Wednesday, October 10, 2018

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Ulster County term limit bill gets thumbs-down at hearing

KINGSTON – A proposed bill to impose term limits on elected officials in Ulster County got slammed by all three speakers at a public hearing held Tuesday afternoon in Kingston.

Proposed Local Law #15 of 2018 seeks to impose a 12-year term limit on the office of county executive, county comptroller and county legislature.

One speaking against the idea was League of Women Voters local and state board member Dare Thompson.

“The League of Women Voters’ position on term limits has been very long-held, we’re against them,” Thompson said. “We have our own method of getting rid of people; we go and vote them out.”

Thompson also said that redistricting is done fairly in Ulster County, “which means, we really do have a lot of flow, in and out. The races are competitive, the legislature is pretty balanced, and that really is the way to go,” Thompson said. “I could understand at the federal level, where people are willing to try almost everything, but we don’t need to do that in Ulster County – and we’re against term limits at the federal level as well.”  

Others took aim at the financial connection behind the term limit movement, with Reclaim New York, a lobbying group connected with the wealthy Conservative-leaning Mercer family. “No self-respecting Democrat should align his or herself with any Reclaim issue,” said Jane Schoenberg, a New Paltz Democrat.

Joyce St. George of Delaware County said that Reclaim attempted similar lobbying there.  “They came to Delaware County, and we chased them out,” she said. “They did the full page ads, they did all the things that they’re doing here.”


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