SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The Onondaga County Legislature voted down a proposal that would give the general public the chance in November to consider a new procedure when drawing county legislative districts.
The law had to pass Tuesday’s vote for it to appear on the general election ballot.
The law, proposed by Democratic Legislator Chris Ryan, would allow for county legislative districts to be drawn by a group of volunteer citizens who apply through the county comptroller’s office, limiting people with county jobs, contracts with the county or plans to run for public office.
Proponents argue it gives citizens the chance the draw the districts for better representation, as opposed to the current procedure which involves a committee of government elected or appointed people drawing the districts.
The current policy includes the legislature chairman, one legislator from each party, a person appointed by the county executive, and the Republican and Democratic Board of Elections commissioners.
Opponents argue the new model puts too much power in the hands of the county comptroller and costs too much money in the hiring of election attorneys to oversee the process.
Chairman Dave Knapp says his caucus of Republicans will present their own model next week that will address many of the concerns to improve the redistricting process.
After the US Census every 10 years, the legislative districts are redrawn so each legislator represents approximately the same number of people.
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