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Ciffone Calls for Audit Hearing, Term Limit

YORKTOWN, N.Y.—Yorktown Town Board write-in candidate Edward Ciffone  on Friday called for the board to hold a public hearing on the New York State Auditor’s report of the town.

He also said he was petitioning to force Yorktown to put in term limits on elected offices.

Ciffone, surrounded by members of the United Taxpayers Union, asked voters to support his write-in campaign and reiterated his party’s call for a hearing on the audit.

“It states in here we have collusion, we have a conspiracy, we have a cover-up of millions of dollars that was spent wastefully, so we’re asking the community to come out and we’re asking the town board to have a public hearing on the audit report,” Ciffone said.

Ciffone also presented a petition he is circulating that calls for term limits. The term limits would limit members of the town board to two, four-year terms and the town supervisor to three, two-year terms, specifically naming incumbents Jim Martorano and Nick Bianco.

“These elected officials can become isolated from the true needs and wishes of their residents.  Many municipalities throughout the United States have addressed these issues by enacting laws limiting the terms of office of elected officials.  It is for the reasons stated above that we respectfully request that the following new law be voted on by the Yorktown Town Board,” Ciffone said, reading the text of the petition.

Ciffone said he needs 1,304 signatures for the petition. If the town board still refuses to hold a hearing, he said they will then take the petition to the town clerk, who will bring it to the board of elections to have it placed on the ballot as a referendum item in either the November election or a special election.

Ciffone said his proposal would only limit consecutive terms, so those who wish to run again can after a short wait.

“Two years later they can run again, so it really gives the people a chance … once they’re out they can come out. Our term limits are for consecutive years,” Ciffone said.

Bianco and Martorano said term limits aren’t an issue — elections are what limit terms. Martorano said term limits would deprive a voter their right to choose someone who is doing a good job.

“I think, in a sense, we already have term limits, and they are called elections. Elections are our strongest term limits,” Martorano said. “If you do this, you will deprive the public of their right to vote for someone that they think is doing a good job. And I also think there’s something to be said with someone who has experience. You lose that if you get rid of people with term limits.”

Bianco echoed Martorano’s comments, and said Ciffone was a hypocrite for demanding term limits since he has been president of the United Taxpayer’s Union for years longer than his proposed term limits would allow.

“He wants term limits because he’s dying to be something so far he can’t be, and he figures if he’s the only one running he has a chance,” Bianco said. “In a democracy I think the voters are the best people to decide if someone should retire or step down. He’s a real hypocrite for calling for term limits when he’s been the president of UTY for years and years.”

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