Re: “A Case Against Term Limits,” Politics & Tidbits column, T&V, Feb. 9
To the Editor,
Steve Sanders’ commendation of Hon. Dan Garodnick is well deserved. It would be better if Garodnick could serve without limits. But he chose the Council four years ago, not running for borough president, something he’d never do against Jessica Lappin. (They even held holiday parties together.)
Then Garodnick was bossed out of his bid for comptroller and then, as well, the speaker’s race.
I’m on his side despite his not running for State Senate, which would have given him an opportunity to snipe at any municipal office when time presented itself. But he wanted to be in NYC, not Albany, with his lovely wife and adorable boys.
Were Democrats in Manhattan organized, however, he would have been talked out of it (although it is agreed within Democratic circles that State Senator, Hon. Brad Hoylman, is doing a fine job). So now Garodnick is off cycle, like being a designated hitter in the National League. And he shouldn’t be on the bench.
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.
Detective James Coll of Emergency Service Unit #1 and ChangeNYS (Photo by Marc DeGeorge)
By Maria Rocha-Buschel
All members of the NYPD are required to swear an oath to the New York State Constitution when they begin their service, but Detective James Coll said that it wasn’t until after he swore his oath that he actually took the time to read it. Since he felt like he wasn’t the only one who was unfamiliar with the document, he started a non-partisan and non-profit organization called ChangeNYS that aims to educate New Yorkers about the contents of the state’s constitution.
Coll, who is one of the detectives that was honored with the Cop of the Year award in 2009 for rescuing passengers from the US Airways flight that landed in the Hudson River, has been a member of the NYPD since 1997 and since 2002 has been a member of the Emergency Squad Unit 1, which is directly adjacent to the 13th Precinct on East 21st Street.
Coll has been an adjunct professor of American history at Nassau Community College since 2001 but he said that he started thinking about the state’s constitution when he decided to go to graduate school shortly after joining the NYPD. He started ChangeNYS about two years ago as an educational program and to offer a forum for discussion to anyone who wanted to learn about the government.