TUPPER LAKE - Voters in the village turned down a ballot question to extend term limits for the village mayor and trustees from two years to four.
The village board proposed the change and could have passed it as a local law subject to permissive referendum, which means citizens would have had to gather signatures to put it to a vote. But the board decided to put it to the people of the village to make the decision, and most board members said they accepted the results.
Mayor Mickey Desmarais said he can see both sides of the decision, and he supports the decision taxpayers made.
"Two years, you're just getting your feet warm," Desmarais said, saying it's not enough time for board members to get familiar with the job or get much done.
But he said he could see why people would vote against the extension.
"The good thing is if you get a bad guy, you'll get rid of them sooner," Desmarais said. "And I think that's on people's minds."
He also noted that campaigning more frequently, though expensive and time consuming, means politicians are getting out and interacting with voters, hearing what they are concerned about and meeting constituents.
"We just suggested it because everyone else is doing it, but if people say no, good," Desmarais said. "It's not a big deal."
Trustee Leon LeBlanc also agreed that the voters made their voices heard, saying it was up to them for a reason.
Trustee Tom Snyder, who ran for re-election Tuesday unopposed, said he's a little disappointed with the decision.
"I really think it was a mistake," Snyder said.
He said it takes time to get work done in government, and two years isn't enough time. Only about half of the initiatives he's undertaken since he started two years ago are completed, Snyder said.
"The gears grind slowly," Snyder said.
He said he doesn't think many people understand that the extension wouldn't have gone into effect until the next election.
Charles "Chip" Perham, who ran unopposed for an open seat on the board vacated by Marvin Madore, said he believes there was no need to increase term limits.
"If you do a halfway decent job, they can vote you back in," Perham said.
If not, then a candidate probably shouldn't keep the seat, he said.
Contact Jessica Collier at 518-891-2600 ext. 25 or firstname.lastname@example.org.