Well, they did it. Despite a poll showing that 89% of New Yorkers wanted the issue put to a public referendum, the City Council voted to extend term limits from two terms to three. This will allow Mayor Bloomberg and roughly two thirds of the Council to run for an extra term. Even though the Council got it wrong, I'm glad that this whole thing is finally over. Sure, there's probably a few court challenges left, but nothing like what we've been seeing. Maybe there'll be some room in the papers for other stories now. Maybe.
I have been on record as opposing this move by the Council pretty much since the Mayor proposed it. That being said, I think that many of my fellow opposers may have gone a little off the deep end. Here's Councilman Bill DeBlasio (who, FYI, a few years ago whole heartedly supported a similar measure): “We are stealing like a thief in the night [the people's] right to decide the shape of their democracy."
Somehow I doubt that many thieves hold public hearings about their thefts covered by every news outlet in the city. But maybe I'm wrong.
The fact is that people still have a choice. Now, in fact, the choice is expanded by one person. If people don't like the Mayor, they can vote him out of office, even if he does spend $80 million on his campaign. The shape of the democracy still comes down to an election every four years. It's up to the people to use it.