Sunday, March 15, 2015

Term limits, shrinking the size of Troy's Council on the table (CLARIFICATION)


ZALEWSKI
CLARIFCATION: Zalewski said the commission is exploring whether or not it is legal and/or feasible to break out the controversial question of term limits on it's own and have people vote on the rest of the charter changes as a whole.

The Troy Charter Review Commission is discussing two controversial issues as it determines what revisions to make to the city’s governing document.
The abolition of term limits and reducing the size of the Council from nine to seven members – with six district representatives and one for the entire city - are on the table, said Councilman Ken Zalewski, D-District 5, on Talk 1300.
Zalewski, who is serving his fourth and final two-year term under the charter, said a representative from the League of Women Voters, Steve Muller, came to the last commission meeting and made a strong case against term limits. While any change to the charter would not impact Zalewski or any other official currently in office, Zalewski said he appreciates both sides of the age-old term limit argument and is open to changing them in Troy. Zalewski is serving on the commission with eight other members.
He said it makes little sense for federal officials like members of Congress – where big money is often exchanged for influence - to serve as long as voters want them elected while in a relatively tiny City of Troy members of the Council and the mayor can only serve eight years.
Other arguments for term limits include allowing politicians to stay in office too long and getting lazy or corrupt, using the office to campaign for what has become a never-ending election cycle and preventing “new blood” with new ideas from getting into office. Arguments against include forcing a conscientious, hard-working honest politician out of office because an arbitrary number of years has passed and the loss of institutional knowledge for the same reason. It also takes power away from voters who should have the final say if they want someone to stay or go.
To the other hot button issue, Zalewski said there have been nine Council members since Troy’s population was upwards towards 75,000. Now, he said, it is right around 50,000 and three At Large members are not necessary. Also, he said, six people running for three seats can confuse some voters because they may think it is a head to head contest between the two who are lined up across from each other on the ballot rather having the ability to choose any three candidates.
The way Troy’s electoral process is now, the candidate with the highest vote total is the Council president. The president does not have any more power than the other eight members but the president does preside over meetings. By default, if the charter is changed reducing the number of members to seven, candidates would run directly for the presidency.
While there has been some talk of reducing the size of the Council, there has not been any serious move towards that end.
Mayoral term limits, however, became an issue in 2003, then Mayor Mark Pattison’s last year in office. First he asked a sharply divided Council to abolish term limits and while everyone thought then Councilman Bill Pascarell, D-District 4, was going to be the swing vote, Councilman Keith Rogers, D-District 3, broke from his Democratic colleagues and voted to keep them in place.
(As an aside, I was covering Troy at the time and for at least a week prior to the vote Pascarell wouldn’t tell anyone which way he was voting. Or, maybe he told both sides he was with them, I honestly have no idea. But the night of the vote, Pascarell was standing about eight-foot tall when he walked up on the dais, relishing the fact all eyes were on him. Not 30 minutes later, Rogers shocked everyone when he voted with then President Frank LaPosta before Pascarell even had a chance to utter a word. You could almost see him deflate back down to his previous stature of a little shy of five-foot.)
After the Council shot it down, it was put to a referendum where about 75 percent of the electorate said they wanted to keep term limits in place. Also, all those on the Council who supported the move were voted out.
To avoid having what is historically a lightning rod issue – not just in Troy but all over the county – overshadow the other revisions to the charter, Zalewski said the commission is exploring whether or not it can legally put two different versions of the new charter to the voters this November. The two would be identical except one would include abolishing term limits and one would leave them in place.

  

 

  

 

37 comments:

  1. Jim when will you have Ed (meathead) Manny on the show. The voters would love to hear some of Ed's intelligent and philosophical ideas.

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    1. You could broadcast live from Verdile's!

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  2. Keep term limits.
    That is what the people want.

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  3. Clarification: Troy hasn't had 75,000 residents since before the transplant Zalewski was born.
    Clarification: When Troy went to the charter form of government, the city had 7 district councilmen. When the charter was changed in early 70s, the city had 7 at large councilmen.
    The self serving Zalewski should do some homework before tossing around misleading facts and figures.

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    1. Curious - How is Ken self serving when looking at the size of the common council? The article states that he is term limited. How would any change to the council benefit him? Why not debate the idea of reducing the number of members rather than calling him names. Is being a 'transplant' to the city a crime? If so I guess most of the current common council would have to resign. This comment sounds like sour grapes from an angry politico.

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    2. Ken has continually mislead residents, but through his insular neighborhood online group he has made himself out to be the savior. Not much you can do when fools continue to be fooled.

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    3. I'm not in his online neighborhood group but I have attended meetings of a south troy group where he has spoken to the members and answered questions and I found him to be informed honest & caring and other people there said the same thing. the only misleading thing here is your nasty comment against him and you calling his neighbors 'fools'. You are the fool and a jealous one at that.

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    4. @ 5:53 Oops! Kenny the Clarifier just got caught "misleading" the public again,point proven. Not much you can do when fools continue to be fooled.

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    5. Misleading the public on what? He has been a constant for the City, always there for all constituents, unlike Boney Ass cat lady and Mute Sullivan

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  4. We realize goofy Zalooski loves to look at his picture but do you really have to punish your readers by posting his pose in the Putin look alike contest.

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    1. He's a shiny happy person.

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  5. They should try term limits in County Legislature - maybe cut down on the corruption and arrogance

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    1. I agree 100% about the legislature. But make no mistake, Ken Zalewski's only purpose on this committee is to overturn term limits. The good news is Ken's other committee failures are, city hall committee, time warner contract committee, technology committee.....many more all failures which have put the city behind the financial eightball. But hey, he can roll on facebook.

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    2. How about that dog park

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    3. Let's not forget when Kenny demonstrated his leadership skills when running the council budget meeting after Rodney failed to attend. After slithering his way to the Pro-Tem position the self serving Zalewski walked away without setting the tax levy and sent the city into further chaos.

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    4. I attended that budget meeting and thought Zalewski conducted himself professionally. I recall 2 or 3 attorneys being called up including the young attorney that works for the city and 1 or 2 others who were already in the front of the room- maybe council lawyer? So Ken acted on legal advice after council voted no on the budget. He didnt cause chaos. the council caused chaos by not passing a budget. He cast a yes vote for the budget and so did my councilman Robert and one other councilor. Words like 'Slithering' and 'Self serving' reveal plenty about the author of the comment. I hope Ken runs for mayor. He is one of the good guys.

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    5. Scary knowing they are suppose to be defending the City. The lawyers that is.don't blame Ken blame Ian.

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  6. Prison term limits for county legislature

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  7. Zalewski is the best argument for no term limits. He sides with reasonable positions and is not owned by either party.

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    1. He is owned by Rodney, a BIG argument for term limits.

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    2. He's also owned by the state Republicans. How else does he keep his job?

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    3. Lol. Lmfao. The democrat dimwits are so predictable. Zaluwski throws out some ideas and the party zombies go for the jugular. These idiots use the same playbook every time... ... attack his charcater , throw in some gay inuendo , go after Wiltshire (two-for-1 special) , question his job skills. Both Rodney and Ken are educated independent and for the people. Id vote for either of them for Mayor. Ken programs computers for a living right? Thats why he has a job. sheesh, Rod and Ken occupy lots of room in some of your heads

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  8. I do agree there should be seven council members. However, I would rather see seven wards or districts than an at large. Term limits repeal? I don't know, I always felt it is up to the electorate to be active and vote people out when they are ineffective, but maybe we need to keep them to keep government fresh.

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  9. Fbi now questioning why Donovan blocked a well known developer from building apartments and then move in and buy the property in foreclosure to build only one house when other bids where to invest significantly more into the tax base with multiple units. Doesn't pass the smell test. And u say your not like Russ. Bahahah

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    1. The developer owed back taxes, which automatically disqualifies you from buying city owned land. FBI not looking at shit.

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    2. Ok Bill did you get your Subpoena today? No? Oh boy ! That means there looking at you Bill. Bill did you escort the 3 men down to Andys office this morning? You know who I talking about the 3 men with the badges who wanted to talk to city engeneer Donovan today. Want to bet if he buys the land Bill? He hasn't bought it yet. It will be available now after his interview this morning jo way he buys it.

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    3. bill Dunne still at it.

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    4. Coldwell prime does not owe any taxes in troy nor does ken Raymond good project blocked

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    5. Oh - hit a nerve did we? Hard to see the light when the walls are cloding in. Welcome to the bloodsport that is Troy politics Jr.

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  10. I hear circus music-- That time again.

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    1. The music is all in your head, Kevin. Just like the Ferris Wheel.

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  11. How about 3 council members and a pro manager

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    1. How about clear out the ENTIRE Mayors Office. VOTE them out.

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  12. The Chairman of the Legislature should be term limited by a jail sentence.

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    1. Save those jail sentence's for the Troy Dems!

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  13. Stop the charade. Democratic lackeys are appointed to a committee to abolish term limits. They're change a couple of 'these to those' and 'us to ours' but make no mistake, this group of phonies are there for one reason and one reason only.

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    1. The whole place is crooked. Money talks.

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