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Utica Common Council reverses term limit extension

Payne Horning
WRVO News File Photo
Utica Common Council

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. 

Payne Horning is a reporter and producer, primarily focusing on the city of Oswego and Oswego County. He has a passion for covering local politics and how it impacts the lives of everyday citizens. Originally from Iowa, Horning moved to Muncie, Indiana to study journalism, telecommunications and political science at Ball State University. While there, he worked as a reporter and substitute host at Indiana Public Radio. He also covered the 2015 session of the Indiana General Assembly for the statewide Indiana Public Broadcasting network.