Westchester County Executive Latimer Signs Term Limits Bill

Real Estate In-Depth | July 2020

Westchester County Executive George Latimer signed the term limits bill on his own office on July 15.

WHITE PLAINS—Westchester County Executive George Latimer’s proposal for imposing term limits on the county’s chief executive officer was approved by the Board of Legislators by a vote of 12-4 on Monday, July 13 and signed into law by Latimer two days later.

The legislation submitted and signed by Latimer reduces the existing three term limit (12 years) for County Executives enacted in 2011 in Westchester, down to two terms (eight years).

Latimer said, “This move not only limits my own power but sends the message that no executive should deem themselves infallible. If eight years is enough for the Chief Elected of our country—it very well is for our county. While many in power seek to hold on and never let go, this move—at a time when our country is shifting toward progress—flies in the face of that notion.”

Latimer is now mid-way through the third year of his four-year term as County Executive.

From committee report attached to local law amending Chapter 110 of the Laws of Westchester County to impose a limitation on service by a Westchester County Executive, the report outlines:

While Latimer’s move limits the term of County Executive, no change in legislative term limits, which currently allow a maximum of service of 12 years (six terms) were proposed or enacted. The new term limit reduces Latimer’s available to run for future terms from three terms to two.

At the time of introduction of the legislation, Latimer noted, “I have included my tenure as covered within the law. Oftentimes, incumbents are ‘grandfathered’ in, meaning the restrictions apply to the next occupant of the seat. But, they will apply to me as well. Eight years is a period of time most common where executive term limits apply, and I think it is a defensible change. The length of my tenure is up to the voters, but to limit the total years to eight makes good sense, and ensures the proper check and balance.”