Four speakers split on question of changing county legislative terms
Four speakers, two opinions -- that was what it came down to at a public hearing Wednesday night on the issue of changing the terms of service for the County Legislature.
Former legislator John Sackett dislikes the idea so much he doesn't even think it should appear on the ballot. But another former legislator, Richard Rudolph, thinks it's a good idea that the people deserve to vote on.
Steve Ferry, who has been championing the idea, of course spoke in favor of it, and Bob Zegler spoke against it.
The proposal is to make legislative terms four years and stagger district elections so every seat isn't up for election every two years.
"I believe that you cannot have representative government by having longer terms of office," Sackett said.
Perry believes that four-year terms will reduce the sense of constant campaigning for legislators and encourage more people to run, making elections more competitive.
"If you do not get challenged in life, in business, as a legislator, then you do no fulfill the dreams of the public," Perry said.
Zegler spoke against the current proposal, but said he would like to see the County Legislature abolished and return county government to the hands of a Board of Supervisors.
On Wednesday, the Legislature will be asked to vote on a resolution authorizing a ballot initiative on the proposal.