This November voters have to make an important decision: Do we want to instill term limits of three terms in addition to increasing the length of terms to four years from the current term of two years?
In the August 7th, 2018 edition of Newsday, I expressed my concerns that longer terms of office will create electoral feudalism through incumbency.
Assuming arguendo that the term limits referendum passes, now elected officials in the Town of Brookhaven will have four year terms and face a maximum of three terms with no credit for past terms served. This referendum as it stands benefits incumbents at the expense of challengers who wish to serve in public office.
Take my campaign in 2017, I raised about $12,000.00 from friends and family whereas Dan Losquadro, a career politician had almost $420,000.00 in campaign contributions. Despite this fundraising disadvantage, my non-stop door knocking resulted in obtaining the most amount of votes for a Democratic candidate for Highway Superintendent in Town history, nearly 40,000 votes!
If we expand the terms of office, it will be even more difficult to take on the status quo, to force accountability, and to have insurgent campaigns like my own that nearly topple entrenched politicians. It is no surprise that we have seen more paving projects over town than had I not almost won in November of 2017. We shook up the politicians who run the town. I openly question whether longer terms of office will make the Highway Department more accountable.
I believe any expansion of terms of office must include campaign finance reform on the local level. There is no reason why a local Highway Superintendent has as much campaign funds as someone running in a Congressional Primary.
If you think that voters should have more of a say in government, vote NO this NOvember on this "Toxic Term Limits" referendum.