By former Assemblyman Steven Sanders
It has been said that the profession of politics is the second oldest one and regarded on about par with the oldest. Politicians are often times reviled beyond any logical reason. If you are unhappy in life, blame a politician. If you feel overburdened, blame a politician.
But too frequently some public officials give good reason for this antipathy by doing corrupt things. While all professions have their bad players, when a politician is caught with his/her hand in the cookie jar, the rest are tarnished and brought down in the eyes of the public.
It is little wonder that the proposition to impose strict term limits is so popular. Of course, it is also entirely undemocratic and occasionally destructive. Dan Garodnick is a case in point.
Dan has been our City Councilman for 11 years. He has effectively represented our community with intelligence, passion and unquestioned integrity. We sorely need those traits in our government leaders today. But he is in his last year as our local representative. You will not be able to vote for him again and our community will be deprived of an exemplary public official and advocate, because of arbitrary term limits.
I understand the lure of limiting the tenure of public officials. Some succumb to complacency in office and yet face only token political opposition.
Some are corrupted by the length of time in power and forget they are the servants of the people and not the other way around. In a perfect world, the voters would discard such officeholders who have stopped doing their job. But statistics prove time and again that incumbents get re-elected at a rate of over 90 percent no matter what.
But back to Dan. He is an exceptional and all too rare breed of public official. He is as humble now as the day that he began in office on January 1, 2006. He remains as enthusiastic about government as a vehicle for good as he was then and arguably even more effective. In short, he is in his prime.
To lose Dan Garodnick from public service now would have been like the Yankees having to cut Derek Jeter after only twelve years. Fortunately, Jeter stayed with the Yankees for 20 years and soon will be enshrined in the Baseball Hall of Fame. Some of his best years were in his last six or seven.
But this is politics.
Dan will be prematurely off our team after this final year. The question is can he find some other position on the political field and continue to represent us in some fashion?
Besides the City Council, there are other borough wide and city wide offices to be won in November, including the office of mayor. So it is conceivable that Dan might still be able to go to bat for us. Let’s hope he can stay in the game!