Giuliani term extension supported by two candidates, opposed by a third
NEW YORK (AP) – Rudolph Giuliani obtained the support of two of the three mayoral candidates Thursday for a plan that would allow him to stay on at City Hall for an extra three months while he guides the city through the aftermath of World Trade Center attack.
But Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer, one of the two Democrats still in the race, declined to support the idea, saying he was worried about the precedent it would set.
Democrat Mark Green and Republican Michael Bloomberg agreed to go along with a proposal after meeting privately with Giuliani.
Green spokesman Joe DePlasco said Thursday the Democrat would support legislation delaying the inauguration of the new mayor for up to three months ”given the unprecedented World Trade Center catastrophe, the urgent need for a seamless transition and the importance of a united city.”
Giuliani said at a news conference Thursday afternoon that he had met with the GOP nominee and ”Mike Bloomberg agreed to it immediately.” The Bloomberg campaign confirmed its support for the deal soon after.
Ferrer said he also met with Giuliani, ”but after listening to his proposal and giving it careful and thoughtful consideration I have decided that I cannot support it. I know the politics of the moment might dictate a different position, but I am deeply concerned about the precedent this would set.”
Ferrer and Green will face off in an Oct. 11 runoff for the Democratic Party’s nomination for mayor.
Giuliani, who is supposed to leave office Dec. 31 because of term limits, said Wednesday he was discussing a plan with candidates vying for his job that would ”unify the city” and provide him some role in New York’s recovery from the World Trade Center attack.
Giuliani has been acclaimed for his leadership since the Sept. 11 attack and has been urged by some New Yorkers to stay on to help guide the city through the crisis.
Various ideas have been floated about a Giuliani role. They include a three-month extension of his term, overturning city term limits to allow him to seek a full third term, or giving him some kind of position in charge of recovery operations.
Giuliani made his strongest comments about his intentions in an interview broadcast Wednesday night on CBS’ ”60 Minutes II.” He said he was open to the idea of staying past the end of his term if New Yorkers wanted him to stay.
”I want to do something that unifies the city because I love this city,” the mayor said.
Earlier in the day, Giuliani called Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver to seek the powerful Democrat’s support on legislation that would extend his term.
Only the state Legislature or the Democratic-led City Council can overturn term limits. While there has been support in the GOP-led state Senate, the Democratic-controlled Assembly has given it a cool reception.
”While the speaker is not a supporter of term limits, he is uncomfortable changing the rules,” said Silver spokeswoman Eileen Larrabee.
She said Silver told Giuliani in their phone call Wednesday that he would bring it up with Assembly members. No date was set for such a discussion.
The general election is Nov. 6.
Associated Press Writer Marc Humbert in Albany contributed to this report.
On the Net:
City site: http://www.nyc.gov
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