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Yonkers officials weigh extending term limits, allowing mayor, city council to seek 4 terms in office

Yonkers officials weigh extending term limits
Yonkers officials weigh extending term limits 02:24

YONKERS, N.Y. - There's a big vote Tuesday night in New York's third largest city. 

The Yonkers City Council will decided whether to extend term limits, allowing the mayor and council members to serve four terms. 

CBS2's Tony Aiello spoke with supporters and opponents. 

Mayor for 12 years, Democrat Mike Spano is thinking about another run, if the city council amends the term limits law. 

"If I do get the opportunity to run, and I do run, certainly I'll go humbly to the voters," Spano said. 

Spano believes his administration is on a roll with new development, steady progress with schools, and improved public safety. 

At a spirited public hearing Monday night, Haifa Bint-Kadi spoke in favor of extending term limits. 

"It's not a light decision, but at the same time, this is a mayor who listens to all voices, who represents all citizen," Bint-Kadi said. 

Yonkers residents voted in 1994 and 2001 to limit the mayor and councilmembers to two terms. In 2018, the council amended the law to allow three terms. The pending vote to now allow a fourth is too much for Yonkers resident Freddy Vazquez. 

"The people of Yonkers have had enough, I believe, of the current administration. Twelve years is more than enough. So when you hear that 'So much has changed for the better,' the average person in Yonkers doesn't see that," Vazquez said. 

If approved, the move would allow Republican Mike Breen and Democrat Corazon Pineda Isaac to run for fourth terms on the city council. 

"I'm left with the conclusion those of you voting 'yes' will be doing so not as public servants but for personal gain," one person said. 

Spano says elections already serve as a form of term limits. 

"The people of Yonkers every four years have an opportunity to bring back their administration or to throw them out and start with something new," Spano said. 

His political options are on the line with Tuesday night's vote. 

New York City and Syracuse have term limits for mayors; Buffalo, Albany and Rochester do not. Gov. Kathy Hochul has proposed term limits for governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and comptroller.

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