Two years ago, Mayor Michael Bloomberg had the city's term limits law extended so he could run for a third term, but now he says he supports a ballot measure to set it back to two terms.
After Bloomberg abandoned the idea of running for U.S. president in 2008, he persuaded the City Council to extend the term limits law, arguing the city needed him to stay on to get through the national financial crisis. He promised he'd convene a charter commission to put the question before voters again.
Voters get that chance Nov. 2. The ballot question asks whether to amend the city's charter to two terms; if voters check "yes," the law will be changed back to a limit of two consecutive four-year terms, and if they reject it, the three-term law will stand.
The billionaire mayor, who founded the financial information company Bloomberg LP, was asked Monday which way he would vote.
"I'm voting to restore it," he said.
Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, didn't explain his reasons, but spokesman Stu Loeser said the mayor always supported three terms just for himself and officeholders at the time because the economic recession was an extraordinary circumstance.
The mayor, who enjoyed sky-high approval ratings throughout his second term, suffered some resentment for the way he went about changing the law. He won re-election last year, but the margin was closer than expected.
Voters twice approved a two-term limit in the 1990s.