Term limits for politicians give candidates competition

Bob Friedrich, Glen Oaks Village

Many voters have written recently in the local media opposing former City Councilman Peter Vallone Sr.'s suggestion that term limits be overturned. Let's be clear: New York voters twice spoke on this subject and have said that overturning term limits is a non-starter. Only electoral arrogance could make it three times.

As president of Glen Oaks Village, a 10,000-person co-op, and a Democratic candidate for the City Council's 23rd District, term limits have given homegrown, civic-inspired candidates like me a serious chance to compete in the 2009 Council election.

Unlike many candidates, I am not a politician and have never worked for one. But I am aware of political back-scratching I see time and again. I am hopeful that this second round of term-limited elections in 2009 will finally clean this up and eradicate the remnants of dynasty politics in Queens, which some have called New York's nepotism capital.

Term limits have given voters a real choice of candidates. We will see an end to the father-son-wife-brother dynasty politics of the past. The Weprins, Vallones and Staviskys do not have an automatic right of ascendency to the throne.

The latest political rumor making its way around the inner circle of the political fiefdom is that state Assemblyman Mark Weprin (D-Little Neck) may seek the seat of his term-limited brother, City Councilman David Weprin (D-Hollis), in 2009.

And should this happen and succeed, term-limited and newly out-of-work brother David Weprin would then seek the vacated seat of his Assemblyman brother.

Only political arrogance would be capable of such schemes, but political dynasties do not end easily. Queens voters are too savvy for this type of shell game.

The days of dynasties are numbered thanks to term limits. Candidates must be elected based on their records of community service, not last name recognition.

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