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Onondaga County Legislature shelves proposal on term limits

Legislator Ken Bush introduces his proposal to have the public vote on legislative terms
Jessica Cain
Legislator Ken Bush introduces his proposal to have the public vote on legislative terms

Onondaga County legislators have voted to shelve a proposal that would allow the public to vote on whether to impose term limits.

The proposed law would have increased the term of office for County Legislators from two years to four years and impose term limits on the County Executive, County Comptroller, and legislators. If approved, the public would vote on the law in November.

Republican Legislator Ken Bush proposed the law and received support from across the political aisle.

"I don't like term limits, but I like the idea of the voters getting a choice," said Democratic Legislator Bill Kinne.

But Majority Leader Brian May said to him, that's not enough.

"It's not as easy as people say, ‘Oh we want to give it to the voters’” he said. “No, you have a job right here, right now, to do. Make that decision, then bring it to the voters."

Several legislators-- like Republican Julie Abbott-- questioned why the proposal is being brought up now, and said more discussion is needed.

“We are creating a solution to a problem that I just haven't heard that exists," Abbott said.

In the end, the legislature decided to table the proposal indefinitely, in a close vote of 9-to-8.

Bush said he's "extremely disappointed."

“The concept of not allowing it to go to the public for referendum is really troublesome,” he said.

Jessica Cain is a freelance reporter for WRVO, covering issues around central New York. Most recently, Jessica was a package producer at Fox News in New York City, where she worked on major news events, including the 2016 presidential conventions and election. Prior to that, she worked as a reporter and anchor for multiple media outlets in central and northern New York. A Camillus native, Jessica enjoys exploring the outdoors with her daughters, going to the theater, playing the piano, and reading.