Utica Common Council reverses term limit extension

Dec 21, 2017

The Utica Common Council is rescinding an earlier decision to extend term limits for some of the city's elected officials.

The council voted in September to allow the mayor, city comptroller and councilors to serve 12 consecutive years, up from the previous eight. But that was reversed this week in a 5-4 vote.

Councilor Joe Marino says it was Councilor John Jacon who switched his vote. Jacon lost his reelection bid last month to Bob DeSanctis, who signed a pledge promising to vote for a public referendum on the term limit change.

"He said it just didn't sit well with the public and it didn't sit well with him, so if he had an opportunity to reconsider -which he did- he would change his mind and change his vote," Marino said. "I though that that was pretty courageous."

Opponents of the extension, like Marino, had complained that the term limits were extended without a chance for the public to weigh in on the issue.

Proponents, like Mayor Rob Palmieri, said it kept term limits in place while giving city leaders the chance to continue "moving the city forward." Palmieri's second term ends in 2019.