Last night's East Utica neighborhood watch meeting took a different turn. Utica Mayor Robert Palmieri was in attendance and no topic was left off the table for discussion.
Common Council At-large Candidate, Jim Zecca, had one question for the mayor.
"Are you going to veto the terrible decision that was made by the common council to extend their term limits and your term limits above and beyond what the people of the city of Utica voted for," Zecca said.
To which Palmieri had an answer.
"Elected officials, and you were one at one point, correct? Okay so, when something comes to you, you makes decisions based on what you feel is in the best interest of the people, correct? So, because you don't agree with maybe five members , that doesn't make it wrong," Palmieri said.
Nearly two weeks ago, the common council voted to extend the term limits for several elected officials in the city.
"This came from the people. It came from the people saying, 'Things are going well, how do we keep you?' And I would say, 'The only way I would support this is that if it was included on everyone. Not just the mayor, the president of the common council, members of the common council, and the comptroller,'" Palmieri said.
Palmieri said many people support the extension, but there are a lot of them who are silent in their approval.
"I don't know what silent majority he's talking to because you could talk to the folks out here tonight and everyone that we have talked to, knocked on doors, are saying that they want the opportunity to vote on that if it's going to be changed," Zecca said.
And despite their differences in opinion, the two men said they have and will work together.
"He's running for a political office and you know what? If he is fortunate enough to win, I will work with him as I have worked with him in the past," Palmieri said.
Zecca feels the same.
"The mayor is passionate about his feelings and I'm passionate about my feelings. It's democracy, that's democracy," Zecca said.