Term limits would be first up on mayoral agenda, Yoon says

The symbolism is hardly subtle: On the same day that Mayor Thomas Menino hits a milestone – 5,846 days in office – surpassing the amount of days former Mayor Kevin White served, City Councillor At-Large and mayoral candidate Sam Yoon is pushing a term limits proposal.

Yoon said as mayor he would propose limiting the time in office for mayors to the same as that for presidents – two terms, or eight years.

“It would be one of the quickest and easiest accomplishments we could make,” he told the Reporter.

Councillor John Tobin has previously proposed capping the number of years a mayor could serve at 12.

Menino at one point said he would serve no more than two terms.

Menino, in a sit-down with neighborhood reporters last week, said term limits are unnecessary, since elections every four years themselves are term limits, in a way.

“That’s everybody’s argument,” Yoon said. “If democracy was perfect, then yes, every four years could be a term limit.”

Menino has a “huge, unfair” advantage as an incumbent, through his million dollar war chest, Yoon added. Term limits have “become necessary,” he said.

In a release, the Yoon camp noted that Philadelphia and New Orleans have term limits in place.

New York recently extended term limits to three four-year terms, allowing Mayor Michael Bloomberg to run for another term.