| 11 Nov 2014 | 02:10

    UPDATED -- 5:21 p.m. After almost 20 hours of public hearings last week and a concerted canvassing effort by the Working Families Party, Council Member Jessica Lappin decided to vote against the term-limit extension bill Wednesday afternoon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg"s controversial bill, which will be voted on Thursday, Oct. 23, would overturn two voter referenda that set a limit of two terms for the city"s elected officials. The mayor has argued that the nation"s financial crisis, coupled with his experience, make him uniquely qualified to lead the city at this time. The Working Families Party, an opponent of the bill, recently targeted the first-term Council member, dispatching five field workers to canvass her district on Oct. 17 to collect signatures of people opposed to the mayor"s plan. â??A lot of people are pro-Bloomberg. But they feel people should have the right to vote, said Kristina Andreotta, canvass director for the Working Families Party. â??They feel torn. The party has made similar canvassing efforts toward several of the 10 currently undecided Council members. The East Side"s other Council member, Dan Garodnick, said early on that term limits should only be extended through a voter referendum. The bill needs a majority of 26 votes to pass. At 3 p.m. on Oct. 17, after three hours of canvassing, the Working Families Party field workers delivered around 400 signatures to Lappin"s district office. â??We"re hoping 400 signatures from her constituents will change her mind, Andreotti said. Lappin, who has run on the Working Families Party line before, said she appreciates the party"s efforts to get her constituents to voice their opinions on the term limits bill. â??What they"re trying to do is get people to contact me and I think that"s great, Lappin said. However, the Council member said that the petitions wouldn"t play a large role in shaping her decision, as the signatures did not have addresses. â??It was hard to tell if the people were constituents or not, she said. A Quinnipiac poll released on Oct. 21 shows a growing opposition to a legislative extension of term limits at 51 percent. Constituents within Lappin"s district, which covers the Upper East Side and Roosevelt Island, have been supportive of Bloomberg, a fellow Upper East Sider. â??He"s fabulous, gushed Janice Karter, who lives within the district. â??He"s the only person who can run this city. Though Karter said that voters should decide the fate of term limits, a bill to overturn the previous referenda is necessary to keep Bloomberg in office. If Lappin were to support the mayor"s legislation, Karter said, it would be more of a reason to keep the first-term Council member in office. â??That would be an argument for her, Karter said. Tom Semioli, who lives on East 86th Street and York Avenue, signed the Working Families Party petition because he said eight years of Bloomberg is enough. â??There shouldn"t be term limits, Semioli said. â??But I"m not in favor of another Bloomberg term.