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Glen Cove City Council nixes putting term-limit referendums on ballot

Glen Cove City Hall on Glen Street. as

Glen Cove City Hall on Glen Street. as seen on Sept. 23, 2015. Credit: Howard Schnapp

Proposals to establish term limits for elected Glen Cove city officials and change the length of their terms won't appear on the November ballot.

Three term-limit referendums the city charter commission had proposed would have automatically been put on the ballot if the city council had re-established the commission – a formality that City Attorney Charles McQuair said is required under state law, even though the commission has been meeting continually since 2015.

The council voted 5-2 Tuesday against re-establishing the charter commission.

“I just don’t think the interest is there right now” among city residents to vote on the three referendums, Councilman Kevin Maccarone  said.

The proposals would have lengthened the mayoral term to four years from two and councilmembers’ terms to three years from two. The referendums also would have imposed limits of three consecutive terms and staggered councilmembers’ terms.

Zoning board of appeals member Tip Henderson said the commission needed to undertake more research and public outreach on the proposals before placing them on the ballot.

Commission member Glenn Howard said the commission spent hundreds of hours reviewing other municipalities’ policies governing terms of office and held two public meetings on the proposals.

“Silencing the committee is an abrogation of the freedom of the public to decide on what they want,” he said.

A separate, more sweeping effort to change the charter also will not be on the November ballot. The group Reboot Glen Cove had asked the council to vote on its measures, which include creating a city manager form of government that limits the power of the mayor, electing most council members by district rather than at-large, and prohibiting some types of tax breaks for for-profit businesses. The proposals were not on Tuesday’s agenda.

Flip Pidot  of Reboot Glen Cove said Wednesday the group would work to place at least some of the measures on the November 2019 ballot – using signatures on petitions to bypass the council if necessary – and urge the council to approve others as law without a referendum.


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