Proposal 1 is a proposition appearing on the 2018 election ballot for all Brookhaven voters.
It would amend the Town Code of Brookhaven to establish a term limit of three (3) four-year terms for Brookhaven Town elected officials, and extend the term of office for those officials from two (2) years to four (4) years, beginning on January 1, 2020.
The Background -
With little more than two weeks’ notice the Republican-dominated Brookhaven Town Board put the resolution for this referendum on the calendar at a Town meeting on August 2nd, 2018.
- NO public hearings were held
- NO period of public comment,
- NO input from the Town Attorney
- NO request made to the Attorney General’s office to weigh-in on pertinent legal questions regarding the referendum.
When the town meeting was held, the residents who did show up to speak in opposition to this referendum were shouted at and bullied.
What the Board members said:
- Two-year terms make it difficult to get anything done, when you have to campaign and raise money every other year.
Every single member of the Town Council was re-elected with more than 60% of the vote, except for one. (Some of them routinely win with over 75% of the vote). On average, they raise $60,000. Campaigning is an important part of our democratic process, and they want to avoid going to the voters.
- Every other town in Suffolk County has four-year term lengths, except for Brookhaven.
Brookhaven is the only town in Suffolk County with a Councilmanic or “Ward” system. All other towns with four year terms ARE NOT. NY State’s Town Law Sec. 85 is very clear in that two-year term lengths are required for elected officials under a Ward system.
BROOKHAVEN ALREADY HAS TERM LIMITS ON THE BOOK! It was passed by referendum in 2003. The Solicitor General has concluded that two-year term lengths are mandatory for a Ward system of governance under state law.
This is an attempt to calcify Republican domination over Brookhaven government. There are some council members who have already served 12 years. This measure would re-set the clock, allowing them to stay in office as long as they want, making it THEIR choice, not ours.