City of Utica Community Affairs Specialist Gene Allen has announced a Petition Drive taking place to have a referendum placed on the ballot in November to extend term limits for elected officials in Utica.

If passed by voters in the City the term limits for all officials would be extended from 8 years to 12 years. Allen wants to emphasize a number of facts regarding this petition. In a release Allen states,

- This petition does not rescind term limits.
- There will still be term limits but the maximum term will be up to 12 years vs. 8 years.
- Candidates will still need to run every two or four years based on their positions.
- If passed by the voters the effective date for this local law will be effective January 1, 2018.

Allen says the petition's only objective is to leave the decision regarding the extension of term limits up to the voters in the City of Utica. Signing this petition would give you a voice on the issue.

Critics of Allen claim he has been spending time working on collecting these petitions on City time and using a City issued cellphone. Allen responded by saying, "I DO NOT have, nor have I ever had, a City phone. Some people opposed to this Charter Revision are trying to muddy the waters by throwing out nonsense such as this." He encourages anyone to contact him on his personal cell phone at 315-534-4328.

A group of residents will be out on Tuesday evening collecting signatures for the referendum petition. Gene Allen says he will be predominantly collecting in the 5th Ward, but if you have interest in signing and have not been approached you can reach out to him directly. Tuesday's petition drive will occur after 4:30 p.m.

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