When Mayor Michael Bloomberg revealed his plans last fall to change the term-limits law so that he could run again for mayor this year, his inbox filled up with messages on both sides of the debate. City Hall released documents today in response to a Freedom of Information request filed last year by The Associated Press and other news outlets after Bloomberg successfully extended the law so that he could run for a third consecutive four-year term in 2009.The mayor’s lawyers redacted most of the names on the correspondence, except on a few e-mails from Bloomberg aides discussing basic strategy, including when he should meet with labor unions.
Many of the documents were e-mails to the mayor from New Yorkers who were either elated or disgusted. The correspondence reflects some of the same sentiments that were on display at City Council hearings on the bill in October and when Bloomberg signed the amended term-limits bill into law.
“Mayor Bloomberg, this is a sad day for NYC …. How dare you?” wrote one person who was unhappy with the mayor for pushed the bill through the City Council, rather than allowing voters decide the issue in an election.
Voters twice approved term limits in the 1990s. Bloomberg, a billionaire independent, argued in October that there wasn’t time to put the issue to a popular vote before this year’s mayor’s race.
Also among the messages were cries of support. One BlackBerry message addressed to “Mr. Mayor” said: “My friends and I sincerely hope you run for a third term as mayor … (we only regret you didn’t run for president.)”
Some messages contained a mix of emotion.
One e-mailer wrote before the bill became law that Bloomberg had been a good mayor but was going about the process all wrong.
“People like you, Mike, but the way this is being handled is hurting you, it really is,” the e-mail said.