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Home Government Joe Says I've Been Sack'ed: Term Limits Prop DOA

Joe Says I’ve Been Sack’ed: Term Limits Prop DOA

Term Limits 

Item #12 on Wednesday night's Rye City Council agenda is a proposal by Councilman Joseph Sack to approve term limits for members of the City Council, as well as for the Boards and Commissions. The proposal would include terms be limited to 2 terms or 8 years, whichever is greater.

In a guest column for MyRye.com, Joe says his proposal has been Sack'ed – that challengers like term limits until they are incumbents and that incumbents never liked them in the first place.

“Dead On Arrival” – By Rye Councilman Joe Sack

It’s been said that the term limits proposal is very political.

I don’t think the issue itself is political.

But the way people react to it is very political.

Before the election, supporters of the candidates who ended up losing didn’t like term limits, because they perceived that it drew attention to the long tenure at the top of their ticket, and cast it as a potential weakness.

After the election, they still don’t like term limits, and it’s only human nature for them to not want to be reminded of anti-incumbency as one of the reasons for why they lost.

Before the election, supporters of the candidates who ended up winning liked term limits, because it was consistent with their theme of change and all those flyers that said “12 years is enough.”

After the election, they don’t like term limits so much anymore, and it’s only human nature for them to want to stress all the other reasons other than anti-incumbency for why they won.

Either way, the term limits proposal is DOA, dead on arrival.  And I think that’s too bad.  But I also think that’s reality.


  1. I agree with Mr. Sack. It certainly gives one pause knowing how little comparative effort it would take to bring this particular proposal into law. And the “we have bigger fish to fry first argument” doesn’t really ring true either. A “change election” would I believe reasonably lead voters to expect actual change and this is a straightforward procedural matter. I would have expected it to be an easy early vote to signal that the group was both unified and dedicated to the fundamental principals they ran on.

  2. Play the lottery today as Jupiter has aligned with Mars – I totally agree with Ted Carroll.
    I will say both Ted and Joe have chosen their words VERY CAREFULLY to express their disappointment that the Changlings are simply hypocrites.
    Running on a platform of “12 years is too long – time for a change” they road the anti-incumbency wave that swept the State into office, deluding themselves that they had a mandate based on the sheer brilliance of their personalities and their “new ideas” that no one ever thought of before.
    They are CERTAIN that it was not merely anti- incumbency ( although it most certainly was )
    but, No, we like them …we really like them!!!
    We want them to be Mr. and Mrs. Rye FOREVER and wave to us from flatbed trucks and podiums for the rest of their lives!!! Why mess with Camelot GOP style?
    “Time for a change” is SO 2009 – Now its Mayor and “Deputy Mayor” FOR LIFE.
    Who needs term limits when EVERYBODY IN RYE LOVES YOU?
    Its not that the Democrats stayed home, confident ( in error as it turns out ) that no one would be so foolish as to vote out of office men as knowledgable and talented as Steve Otis and Andy Ball – No, its because everyone was dazzled by the depth and breadth of experience and sheer intellect of a PTO co president and a guy who organizes sports leagues, or something.
    Ted Carroll, it is refreshing to see you stay true to your conservative principles and I commend you.
    Joe Sack, who probably as senior republican on the Council should have been “Deputy Mayor”, is in a tough spot. Its sad to realize that your colleagues have no core principles beyond saying and doing whatever it takes to get in office then, more important, STAY THERE, but hey, that’s politics.

  3. Charmian –
    Think about this rationally.
    For the first time in more than two decades, we have a city council comprised of individuals none of which has more than two years experience in the job. Given Joe’s proposed term limits of 8 years, I don’t see why this is such a pressing issue at this time – I’d rather have the council focus on cutting taxes and getting the city to live within its means. The council can put this issue on the back burner for two, three or even four years before it becomes remotely relevant – assuming Paula and Katherine are still on the council at that time. (Since Joe is a strong proponent for term limits, I’m confident he wouldn’t be interested in running for a third term).
    Furthermore, I don’t recall the victors in last November’s sweep making any campaign promises to establish term limits. This issue was brought forth by Joe to the council after the new team had taken office. His earlier effort did not gain traction because it would have prevented the previous mayor from running for a fourth term. Note that the issue was shelved this time because there are other, more pressing issues facing the council. They are prioritizing, and quite quickly – and correctly – they came to the conclusion that the issue of term limits is not something that needs to be addressed immediately, if at all.
    This leads you to fear that, after 16 whole weeks, they are against term limits because they want to be in charge “for life”. My advice to you is, take a deep breath, remain calm and think of the words of Andrew Jackson: “Never take counsel of your fears”.

  4. Hello Matt – Rationally speaking, there’s no reason not to vote on terms limits tonight as there’s no heavy lifting involved. It’s an up or down vote, right?
    I mean…rationally there’s no need to shelve it under the guise of “we have more pressing issues”.
    Ted is quite right there. Good Lord it kills me to say that.
    If you feel compelled to spin it to cover someone’s behind, that’s OK, I enjoy watching you dissemble. That, too, is politics, and I was sincere when I praised your ability in that regard to John Faso.
    On an historic note, it’s charming that you quote Andrew Jackson. Wasn’t he the president who, in an ill advised effort to “listen to the people” ( where have I heard that before ) , opened up his inauguration to a disorderly mob which quickly got drunk and trashed the White House?
    Maybe he would have been wiser to take counsel of his fears , no?
    I do appreciate your concern and, although I am breathless with anticipation to hear how this delightful little tale of hypocrisy unfolds, I will remember to breath deeply, thank you.
    I am quite calm however, amused is more like it, and you should know me well enough by now to know that fear is not what motivates me, not at all. 😉

  5. Matt:
    What is your description “cutting taxes” since your Council majority failed to “cut taxes”.
    The new majority’s “zero tax” promise is a short term high with core municipal service casualites being the Library and infrastructure spending (remember Theall Road). Will the new majority cut funding on a community resource which is 6% of each City tax dollar? Besides, zero property tax proposals are covered up by raises in municipal fees,fines and program costs.

  6. Met Bob Cohen from Scarsdale on the train platform this morning.

    He’s running to be our new Albany Senator this fall.

    He’s behind a spending cap, lower taxes, term limits, non-partisan redistricting, restoration of the STAR property tax rebates and repeal of the MTA payroll tax.


  7. Garnet Graduate –

    When I ran in 2003, it was on a platform of stopping the growth of debt and containing taxes to the rate of inflation or below. This is not the same thing as cutting taxes. We did stop the growth of debt, and we contained taxes while we had a majority – hardly a failure in my book.
    The current council ran last Fall on a platform of bringing back fiscal responsibility. It was long-overdue. Their opposition essentially told the community that nothing could be done to change the direction of our debt levels and tax rates. Call me hopelessly optimistic, but I’d rather have my elected officials working hard to contain or cut the cost of government rather than essentially quitting on a core duty of an elected official. Even if this council were to fail, at least they would fail trying. It’s to their credit that they are pursuing this goal. Why?
    The issue we face in our community, in our county, in our state and in our nation, is one of economic sustainability. Can our levels of governments continue to take more and more private wealth from those who create it and give it to unions and other special interests? Is it possible to grow our economies by continuing to raise taxes and issue more debt? More importantly, is it responsible and proper for our elected officials to continue to burden us – and our children – with continuous increases to already-high debt levels?
    At some point, a responsible government will change course and rein in taxes, spending and debt levels, or face eviction by the voters. We saw just such an eviction last Fall in our town and in our county. I’m hoping this happens at the state and federal level this November. I believe that it is vitally important for the future of the state and the nation to see this correction occur.
    Getting back to a more localized view, the new council is focusing on achieving a proper balance between taxes and services. It’s way too early to start calculating their effectiveness, but they are at least attacking the biggest problem we have. Term limits? Please talk to me in 2015.
    Lastly, I’m all in favor of reducing or freezing property taxes if it means the users of the numerous programs will need to pay more for the programs that they – and only they – use. If you don’t like this view of mine, just be thankful I’m not sitting on the council.

  8. First off, I wish Joe Sack would look up the definition of “political”. By the definition of “political”, term limits is definitely a political issue. Secondly, how one would claim that term limits is a conservative idea is beyond me. Term limits is so left wing it’s almost communist. It certainly restricts democracy. Why shouldn’t I have the choice to vote for someone 100 times if he does a good job? It’s not like the politicians in Rye are building war chests of money which usually is the biggest reason for term limits. If Joe Sack feels he is only good for 8 years then he should just not run after 2 terms. But if I’m forced to nake a decision, when it comes to Joe Sack, I’m all for restricting the number of terms a councilperson can serve to zero.

  9. Matt,

    I can’t help to notice the constant talk of our “POOR FINANCIAL” status here in Rye.

    Wednesday night a gentleman named Mr. Charles Bateman stood before the council representing the Schuberts and has complete control to settle with the city out of court.

    This would save the taxpayers $5mil plus Lawyer fees. If we are in such a “POOR FINANCIAL” state why isn’t the council jumping all over this???

    Why did Mayor French so rudely cut this man off after 1 minute into his presentation?
    You can’t invite the public to speak for 5 minutes and then say…sorry we don’t want to hear what you have to say!!!

    Mayor French’s ticket ran on “CHANGE”….He refuses to address the Hen Island & Schubert Pond issues.


  10. Mr. Jones –

    You ask why the city council isn’t jumping all over the opportunity to settle on a lawsuit brought forth by the Schuberts. As I’m not in command of all the facts of the case, I certainly couldn’t answer with any conviction. You claim that the city would save $5m plus lawyers fees – how did you arrive at this number?
    Also, it seems to me that if Mr. Schubert is looking to settle even before the trial begins (and shortly after the city moved to dismiss the case based on baseless grounds for damages), then he probably doesn’t have a great deal of confidence in his own case.
    Were the city to settle this case, wouldn’t that action invite a rash of copy-cat lawsuits from homeowners looking to make a few mortgage payments by playing the lawsuit lottery game? And if the city were to pursue negotiations to settle a case, do you really think a public city council meeting is the proper venue?
    Lastly, if you think Rye is in great financial shape, I’d hate to be your financial advisor.

  11. Mr.Fahey,

    I never said or thought that Rye is in great financial shape…I asked a question!!!

    Where my info comes from is not important, what is….is that Mr.Schubert be allowed to go with a smile on his face!

    After what he has been put through, Rye at least owes him that. Rye has permission to enter the Gates property to resolve this and make the Law Suit go away…what’s the problem???

    Mr.Schubert is an Old Kind FRAGILE Man, all he wants is his pond back. It’s not a matter of having a strong or weak case, it never was and Bob has said so more than he should have.

    Everyone knows the truth. If Mayor French is frustrated that this is still before the Council he should do something about it and do it POLITELY!

    To answer your question…NO, I do not think a Public Meeting is the venue for settling a Law Suit.

    No one was trying to settle it in a Public Venue. Obviously Kristen Wilson was in possession since March of info that was not forwarded to the Council or answered by her or the Council.

  12. Mr. Jones –

    I don’t have a dog in this fight, and I don’t see what I could add or detract by taking any side. I’m what you’d call a “dis-interested outside party”. The result of Bob’s lawsuit is only of interest to me as to how it impacts Rye financially. For that reason alone, I’d really be interested in the the source of your information.
    Outside of the financial repercussions to the city of Rye, I have little interest in the outcome of Bob’s lawsuit, as it won’t impact me in the slightest. Can you make the same claim?

  13. “John Jones”…..The fellow’s name is Chuck PATEMAN…Not Bateman…And, I’m not sure what channel you were watching…but, he was NOT cut off “1 minute into his presentation”…as a matter of fact, he was allowed to speak much longer than the usual 3-5 minutes……Are you REALLY a Rye resident?….Is this John Jones related?…I don’t think so…

  14. Don’t know you “Mr. Jones” but in checking around seems nobody else involved in getting Schubert’s Wetlands restoration does either. So thanks for your comments – they seem accurate. Here are some other points.

    The new proposal to clean up this mess was submitted to The Planning Commission on March 5th. (Remember the Schubert Wetland matter never came before them as provided for by the Rye City code.) I was provided a copy of this 25 page (before exhibits) submission about a week later and sent a copy of it to local media – Jay, Robin and Chris – on March 12th.

    From what I understand, The Planning Commission has refused to put the matter on their agenda – even though two Planning Commission meeting dates have come and gone and all procedures for getting the matter aired before the commission were followed.

    And from my perspective – a more informed perspective – I believe Mr. Schubert is not dealing from weakness as far as the legal case goes. The city’s insurance company would probably agree with this view if you could get them to comment. Schubert’s settlement effort is rooted rather in the desire to see the environmental laws on the books put to use by the newly elected council. I have faith that they will do just this.

  15. Why does Mr. Floatie lie to the people? I recommend everyone following the Hen Island case to FOIL Ron Gatto’s report included in a packet given to the city of Rye by Mr. Floatie. You will see that Ron Gatto never recommended condemming Hen Island in his report. The only written account of Mr. Gatto’s opinion says nothing of condemning of Hen Island. Look it up yourselves.

  16. Matt,

    Like I said, the opportunity is before the Council to settle this matter with “LITTLE or NO COST” to the tax payers…..I ask again…Why don’t they?

    Since you have such an abundance of interest in our taxes why are you not asking the same question?


    Mayor French cut that man off 1 minute in and told him “you have 4 minutes”. Maybe Mr.Pateman was allowed to speak past the 5 minutes because he was repeatedly interrupted!
    If it is not on the tape then it has been EDITED!

  17. John Jones –

    Your mistake is that you assume 1) the case of violated civil rights has merit and 2) a judge will agree with the Schuberts that their pain and anguish is worth $5 million.
    These are two very big ifs, and from what I’ve heard, the argument is without merit. It would be a mistake for the city to settle now, as it would encourage a rash of similar nuisance suits.

  18. Matt Fahey is absolutely correct. You do not negotiate with terrorists. There are 2 rules when dealing with environmental terrorists.

    1. You do not negotiate with them ( especially if their lawyer is the same as Mr. Floatie’s bewcause he ain’t the sharpest knife in the draw)

    2. You are either with us or against us. (Right now Joe Sack is against Rye. He is attempting to negotiate with environmental terrorists. Mr. Sack could be a traitor.)

  19. Dear Legal Committee – is this kind of thing going to be allowed continue in our city? I sure hope not.

    May 24, 2010

    Camille S. Jobin-Davis
    Assistant Director
    State of New York, Department of State
    Committee on Open Government
    99 Washington Avenue
    Albany, New York 12231

    —In short, that the records are “predecisional”, “draft” or “non-final” would not represent an end of an analysis of rights of access or an agency’s obligation to review to entirety of their contents to determine rights of access. Based on the direction of the states highest court, we believe that insofar as the records prepared by the architect for the City consist of “statistical or factual tabulations or data”, they must be disclosed even though they may be “pre-decisional”, “draft” or “non-final.”—


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