NEW CITY − Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann and two others are going to court docket to void the city’s historic time period limits legislation, which prohibits Hoehmann from searching for one other time period in 2023.
Hoehmann, Councilman Donald Franchino, and voter Thomas Foley contend in authorized papers filed Thursday that the city’s 2014 time period limits legislation is unlawful and must be voided on the grounds residents by no means obtained the prospect to determine the difficulty at a public vote.
Additionally they argue the method to repeal the legislation with 4 votes from the five-member City Board is “unlawful, unenforceable.” They assist repeal by three board votes.
Hoehmann, who voted for time period limits, can’t run for an additional time period in 2023 if the legislation stays in impact, forcing him out of elected workplace. Franchino shouldn’t be term-limited in 2023.
Clarkstown authorized motion: Supervisor Hoehmann, Councilman Franchino and voter need court docket to void time period limits legislation
Voiding time period limits: Clarkstown eyes revoking time period limits as supervisor is first affected in 2023
2014 vote: Clarkstown poised to move time period limits for elected officers
City Board lacked votes
The authorized motion comes after Hoehmann could not muster sufficient City Board votes to repeal or revamp the legislation. He retreated on a board vote on Nov. 29.
The selection on Nov. 29 included repealing the legislation. The opposite choice would amend the legislation to permit elected officers to serve 12 years − three consecutive four-year phrases or six straight two-year phrases. The amended legislation would have restarted the term-limit clock, voiding earlier years of service.
“The Clarkstown time period restrict legislation is clearly unconstitutional on its face as a matter of legislation,” Hoehmann mentioned Friday. “The voters have a proper to be heard on this and so they weren’t. Due to this fact we’re transferring to revoke the legislation.”
Hoehmann referred feedback on the lawsuit to lawyer Bob Spolzino. Hoehmann first received election as supervisor in November 2015 after serving as a council member beginning in 2009.
Of the 5 present board members, 4 oppose time period limits, totally on the precept that the voters ought to determine. The exception is Councilman Frank Borelli, who pushed for the legislation in 2014 with Hoehmann. Borelli is also term-limited in 2023.
When the five-member board adopted time period limits in 2014, the Democrats held a 3-2 majority. Right now, the Republicans maintain a 4-1 majority.
When revoking time period limits grew to become a risk earlier this 12 months, Borelli mentioned, “I strongly disagree with any effort to switch and readopt a brand new legislation based mostly on the wording, because the intent on the time of the vote was clear to people who voted and the general public that attended the general public listening to.”
Clarkstown Democrats blasted the try, noting advocating time period limits is a superb election ploy till it turns into actuality for elected officers. They wrote a letter demanding the board members maintain their phrase.
In a letter, former Supervisor Alexander Gromack and board members, Stephanie Hausner and Shirley Lasker famous Hoehmann’s place in 2014: “I do perceive as now a two-term incumbent councilman, like several incumbent, that I’ve a definite benefit over any challenger. Time period limits are a manner of guaranteeing that periodically the folks have the enjoying subject leveled with a assure of turnover.”
They demanded Hoehmann follow his phrases.
Retired state Supreme Court docket Justice William Sherwood wrote that the city legislation is meaningless as written. He mentioned below state and native statutes most phrases are restricted to 2 or 4 years earlier than searching for election. The city lawyer solicited his opinion.
“The intent of the legislation might have been to restrict the variety of consecutive years an elected official might serve in a single place to only eight years,” Sherwood wrote. “As an alternative in clear language, it states no time period can exceed eight years.”
Clarkstown Councilman Patrick Carroll, an lawyer, disagreed with Sherwood’s evaluation. Carroll was not on the board when the time period restrict legislation was handed. Whereas he opposes revoking the legislation, Carroll doesn’t assist time period limits. He and council members Michael Graziano and Franchino contend the voters ought to determine.
Carroll disagreed with the view the time period restrict legislation is obscure and argued the legislative intent to cap phrases at eight consecutive years is obvious.
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