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Amityville to consider term limits for trustees, but not village justice

Amityville Village Hall

Amityville Village Hall Credit: Alexi Knock

Amityville trustees will consider a bill to limit their own terms but have backed away from one that would have limited the term of the village justice.

Judge Debra Urbano-DiSalvo, the village justice, had threatened to sue over that measure, which she said would have unconstitutionally infringed on her office.

“We have had threats of a lawsuit,” Mayor James Wandell said at Monday night’s board meeting, announcing that the bill had been stricken from the agenda. “While we believe we were on sound legal ground, we do not wish to spend money on a lawsuit to defend a principle.”

That bill would have limited the village justice to three four-year terms. A bill that would limit trustees, including the mayor, to two consecutive four-year terms, is set for a public hearing at the Dec. 9 board meeting.

“I’m glad the board recognized this was beyond their powers to do,” Urbano-DiSalvo said in an interview Tuesday. “I hope the board, going forward, spends its energy on matters that will improve the quality of life for village residents.”

Trustees scheduled the hearing for the remaining term limits bill by a 3-1 vote, with Kevin Smith dissenting and Dennis Siry absent.

Trustee Nick LaLota and Mayor Jim Wandell have said the term limits bills were written to discourage people from making a career out of public office, and Deputy Mayor Jessica Bernius has joined them in support of the measures.

Siry has said he opposes term limits because they take authority away from voters.

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