Council Term Limits Breakdown: The “I Don’t Knows” Have It


The Times has a fun and educational interactive map that shows where city councilmembers come down on term limits.

Especially fun is the map widget that reveals only the districts where members are due to term-limit out if the new legislation is not passed; we note that several of these members are in favor of repeal, while many of those who are not (e.g. Mayoral candidate Tony Avella, State Senate candidate Joseph Addabbo, Borough President candidate Bill de Blasio) have bigger electoral fish to fry.

There are also plenty of councilmembers who haven’t declared one way or the other yet — always a smart play if, and for as long as, you can afford it.

Among these we note Manhattan’s Jessica Lappin. Lappin’s not immediately affected by term limits, and has a good poker face. Back when the Mayor was pushing for congestion pricing, the generally progressive Lappin held out for a long while. In late March the Observer‘s Azi Paybarah asked her where she stood; Lappin replied, “You’ll just have to wait and see.”

She finally voted for it, but Streetsblog wryly noted, “Lappin’s lukewarm support for congestion pricing seems to have turned into full-fledged support now that the proposal has no chance of being implemented… it might have been helpful had she found her voice a few months — or even weeks — before the plan went to Albany.”

The Timesliveblog of today’s term limits hearings does not record any statements by Lappin, who was present in her capacity as a member of the council’s Governmental Operations Committee. There is much wisdom in this kind of reticence; it can win you cred and power on the council, and maybe even a promotion.