A campaign to extend the terms of Yonkers City Council members has hit a major roadblock after the city clerk tossed out several thousand signatures needed to put the issue on the November ballot.
The group, Committee for Term Limit Consistency, submitted petitions with 6,300 signatures from backers of a proposal to extend the term limits from eight consecutive years to 12 years, similar to New York City Council members.
But the clerk's office invalidated most of the signatures, leaving the group about 2,000 signatures short of the required number to put the question on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.
"None of the petition sheets submitted by the petitioner contain witness statements or statements by a notary public or commissioner of deeds," City Clerk Jose Alvarado said in a report to council members nullifying the petitions.
Alvarado also threw out more than 4,000 petitions because the signatures were illegible, or the individuals who signed them were either not city residents or not registered to vote, as required by state law.
Despite the setback, one leader of the group vowed to push to get the issue on the ballot in the 2014 elections.
"This isn't dead," said Robin Brumfield, a member of the group. "It's something that we will continue to work on because we feel so strongly about it."
The group argues that the regular turnover of city council members has prolonged dozens of major projects -- such as the renovation of the city's riverfront pier and a street lighting project in Getty Square -- because those projects often outlive the terms of the officials who backed them and their replacements don't necessarily support the efforts.
She said allegations that the group was created just to extend the terms of current city council members are baseless. "This is not about helping anyone to stay in office," Brumfield said.