City Council Speaker Christine Quinn gave a speech at an Association for a Better New York event yesterday that seemed to be a preview into Quinn's 2009 mayoral campaign. According to CityRoom, the speech "seemed to be steered toward showing Ms. Quinn to be a responsible, knowledgeable fiscal heavyweight who would be an effective watchdog of New York City’s financial health."
Quinn presented five ideas, including stronger oversight of independent agencies like the NYC Transit Authority and the Housing Authority, the comptroller's control of city borrowing, more detail city budgets, and a "rainy day fund" to put boom time surpluses in the bank for the future. Crain's NY noted that she referenced the city's bankruptcy in 1975 and said, "We must take further action to make sure that the bad old days never come back.”
She also mentioned that the Council will be discussing term limits soon, "Myself and my colleagues have to come to a final decision soon because people need to make decisions on what they're doing in 2008, 2009." Currently, City Council members - as well as the mayor and Public Advocate, can only serve two 4-year terms; some argue that term limits are necessary to prevent stasis, corruption and a lock on positions, others say that the legislative process is so slow that more time is needed to get things down.
If the Council pursues extending term limits, they'll have to go up against Ronald Lauder, who, as the Sun reports, "spent about $4 million on the two referendums." His spokesman said, "He's fought for this twice and he's not a man who gives up a fight. Perhaps those who are appalled by the prospect of finding another job should consider a new line of employment, because voters are pretty central to the life of a politician."