Proposed Revisions

 § C-10 Commission on Reapportionment (Redistricting)

A. Commission on Reapportionment shall be established pursuant to this section. It shall meet as soon as practicable after the availability of data from each decennial census to evaluate existing legislative districts to the maximum extent practicable pursuant to the process established herein and reapportion them as necessary to meet established standards in state and federal law for equal and fair representation of all people in Ulster County, keeping districts compact and contiguous while taking also into account existing town, city, village and election district boundaries, defining geographic features, and equal population within applicable law, but giving no consideration to providing advantage to one or another political party. This Commission shall consist of seven members who are County residents, are [eligible to]registered to vote in Ulster County, represent the geographic and demographic diversity of Ulster County, and are not currently, nor have been for the three years preceding the formation of the Commission, [public officers]elected officials, employees of New York State, Ulster County or any town, city or village in that County, or members or officers of any political committee. [For the purposes of this statute, public officers shall not include notaries public.]

B.  To establish a pool from which Commission members will be appointed, the County Executive shall, no later than June 1 of each year ending in ["0,"]zero, commence the process for widely soliciting interest in serving on the Commission through [such means ]methods [including but not limited to] such as direct mail and e-mail, contact with civic groups, public service announcements on radio and television and in daily and weekly newspapers, paid advertisement and announcement on the County website. A report of the process and a list containing the names of the people in [T]the pool of candidates qualified to serve as members of the Commission shall be submitted to the Clerk of the County Legislature no later than September 1 of each year ending in zero.["0."]

C.  Initial appointments to the Commission on Reapportionment from the pool of interested parties gathered in this manner shall represent [various ]the demographic and geographic [areas ]diversity of the County and shall be made no later than January[October] 1 of each year ending in [“0”]”1” with two members appointed by the Legislature's majority leader and two members by the Legislature's minority leader.

D. 

(1)  The four appointed Commissioners shall select the additional three Commission members from the [pool ]previously established pool no later than January 15[October 15] of each year ending in “1”[zero] and shall represent the geographic and demographic diversity of the County.["0."] In the event that all of the three additional Commission members are not appointed by the prescribed [October]January 15 deadline, the appointment of the initial four members and additional members appointed by the four Commissioners will no longer have force and effect, and these members will no longer be eligible to serve on the Commission on Reapportionment.

(2)  The majority and minority leaders will then make new appointments, other than any previously selected who could not agree on the selection of the three additional members, in the manner prescribed in Subsection C above no later than February[November] 1 of each year ending in “1.”[."0."] The four newly appointed members will appoint three additional members as set forth above by February [November]15 of each year ending in “1.”[ "0."] In the event that all of the three additional Commission members are not appointed by the prescribed February[November] 15 deadline, the appointment of the initial four members and additional members appointed by the four Commissioners will no longer have force and effect, and these members will no longer be eligible to serve on the Commission on Reapportionment.

(3)  The majority and minority leaders will then make new appointments, other than any previously selected who could not agree on the selection of the three additional members, in the manner prescribed in Subsection C above but no later than March[December] 1 of each year ending in “1.”["0."]

(4)  In the event that these four Commission members fail to select all of the three additional members by March [December] 15 of each year ending in “1.”["0,"] then by April[January] 1 of each year ending in "1," the three additional members of the Commission shall be selected by a drawing of names from a receptacle containing the names of the remaining members of the pool of interested parties that the four Commissioners have agreed by majority vote meet the criteria set forth in § C-10A of this Charter. The four newly appointed members shall verify that the receptacle contains the names of all remaining members of the pool of interested parties. The County Clerk shall draw three names from the receptacle containing the names of all of the remaining interested parties. If the four newly appointed members determine that any one of the three additional members together with the four appointed members thus selected do not represent the criteria set forth in § C-10A of this Charter, the process shall be repeated with respect to the number of additional members to be appointed. The rejected members shall not be placed back in the receptacle. This process shall be repeated until a majority of the four members determine that the three additional members together with the four appointed members represent the criteria set forth in § C-10A of this Charter. The three names thus selected shall constitute the three additional members of the Commission on Reapportionment.

(5)  A vacancy in any Reapportionment Commission shall be filled in the manner that the vacant position was originally filled. A vacancy shall be filled no later than 15 days from the date of the vacancy.

E.   The first meeting of the Commission shall be convened by the County Executive [meet ]no later than 15 days after it is fully appointed for the purposes of receiving its charge and determining how a Chairperson will be selected. The Commission shall decide [elect a Chairperson ]at its first meeting by majority vote of the entire membership of the Commission if it will have a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson by election or a Chairperson by rotation.

(1)  Chairperson and Vice Chairperson by Election

The Commission shall elect a Chairperson and Vice Chairperson at its first meeting by majority vote of the entire membership of the Commission. The Chairperson and/or the Vice Chairperson may be removed from his/her seat by a two-thirds vote of the entire membership of the Commission. A vote for removal of the Chairperson and/or Vice Chairperson may be called by any member of the Commission. A vote for removal from the seat of Chairperson or Vice Chairperson is not a vote for removal from the Commission.

In the event of a vacancy in the seat of Chairperson or Vice Chairperson the vacancy shall be filled by a majority vote of the entire Commission immediately thereafter, but in no event shall it be later than at its next scheduled meeting immediately following the vacancy.

(2)  Chairperson by Rotation

      The position of Chairperson shall rotate each meeting. The position shall rotate among the Commissioners in alphabetical order by surname commencing with the Commissioner whose surname begins with the letter appearing earliest in the alphabet. A Commissioner may elect to not sit as the Chairperson, in which event, the Chair shall move to the next Commissioner in the rotation. Should a Commissioner elect to not serve as Chairperson at any point during the rotation, this decision shall not result in the forfeiture of future turns to serve as Chairperson.

F.   Powers and duties of the Commission; hearings; submissions and approval of the plan.

(1)  Following each decennial census, the Commission shall [prepare a plan to ]divide the County into 23 single member districts as set forth in § C-8 of this Charter for the election of County Legislators. The [plan] Commission shall be solely limited to [the designation of ]creating district boundary lines delineating each of the 23 legislative districts. The Commission shall have no power or authority to increase or decrease the number of legislative districts as that power and authority shall vest solely with [the power and authority granted to ]the Ulster County Legislature, Ulster County Executive and the electorate pursuant to the Ulster County Charter and § 23 of Municipal Home Rule Law. [In preparing the plan, t]The Commission shall be guided by the criteria set forth in § C-10A of the County Charter.

(2)  To the maximum extent practicable, [E]each of the 23 single member legislative districts shall be created, taking into consideration § C-10 A of this Charter[ based upon population].

(3)  The Commission shall hold one or more public hearings on or prior to May 20 of each year ending in "[1]2" and shall make its draft plan available to the public for inspection and comment not less than 10 days before such public hearing.

(4)  The Commission shall prepare and adopt, by majority vote, a final plan for reapportionment and [submit ]file its plan [to ]with the [Clerk of the Legislature]Ulster County Board of Elections on or before [June 1]July 20 of each year ending in "[1]2". [unless the Legislature shall adopt a resolution extending the deadline for a period of up to 15 days if the necessary census data has not been supplied in a timely fashion and the Commission requests such extension. Such plan shall be able to be subjected to a permissive referendum, as if it were a local law, provided the New York State Legislature shall have enacted legislation and the Governor shall have signed into law such legislation or such legislation is otherwise caused to become law.][(5)  If the Commission on Reapportionment's plan is not subjected to a permissive referendum or is approved at referendum, it shall have the force and effect of law and shall be deemed the reapportionment plan of the County Legislature commencing with the general election in the year ending in "3." If the Commission on Reapportionment's plan is subjected to a permissive referendum and is defeated or otherwise not enacted in such permissive referendum, such plan shall not take effect, and a new Commission on Reapportionment shall be established, and such persons on the Commission shall meet all criteria as the prior Commission. The County Executive shall undertake the same or substantially similar procedures as were utilized in the formation of the Commission on Reapportionment in the prior year to solicit volunteers for the pool who will be considered for the Commission on Reapportionment. Such pool of candidates shall be established by December 15 of the year ending in "1." The majority leader and minority leader in office as of January 10 in a year ending in "2" shall pick two persons each from the pool of candidates to serve on the Commission by January 15 in a year ending in "2." The four appointed Commissioners shall select the additional three Commission members from the pool previously established no later than February 1 of each year ending in "2." In the event that all of the three additional Commission members are not appointed by the prescribed February 1st deadline, the appointment of the initial four members and any additional members appointed by the four Commissioners will no longer have force and effect, and these members will no longer be eligible to serve on the Commission on Reapportionment.][(6) The majority and minority leaders will then make new appointments, other than any previously selected who could not agree on the selection of the three additional members, in the manner prescribed in Subsection C above no later than February 10 of each year ending in "2." The four newly appointed members will appoint three additional members as set forth above by February 20 of each year ending in "2." In the event that all of the three additional Commission members are not appointed by the prescribed February 20 deadline, the three additional members of the Commission shall be selected by a drawing of names from a receptacle containing the names of the remaining members of the pool of interested parties that the four Commissioners have agreed by majority vote meet the criteria set forth in § C-10A of this Charter by February 25 of each year ending in "2."][(7) The four newly appointed members shall verify that the receptacle contains the names of all remaining members of the pool of interested parties. The County Clerk shall draw three names from the receptacle containing the names of all of the remaining interested parties. If the four newly appointed members determine that any one of the three additional members together with the four appointed members thus selected do not represent the criteria set forth in § C-10A of this Charter, the process shall be repeated with respect to the number of additional members to be appointed. The rejected members shall not be placed back in the receptacle. This process shall be repeated until a majority of the four members determine that the three additional members together with the four appointed members represent the criteria set forth in § C-10A of this Charter. The three names thus selected shall constitute the three additional members of the Commission on Reapportionment.]

[G.  The Commission shall meet no later than seven days after it is fully appointed. The Commission shall elect a Chairperson at its first meeting by a majority vote of the entire membership of the Commission.]

[H. Powers and duties of the Commission; hearings; submissions and approval of the plan.]

[(1) The Commission shall prepare a plan to divide the County into 23 single member districts as set forth in § C-8 of this Charter for the election of County Legislators. The plan shall be solely limited to the designation of creating district boundary lines delineating each of the 23 legislative districts. The Commission shall have no power or authority to increase or decrease the number of legislative districts as that power and authority shall vest solely with the power and authority granted to the Ulster County Legislature, Ulster County Executive and the electorate pursuant to the Ulster County Charter and § 23 of Municipal Home Rule Law. In preparing the plan, the Commission shall be guided by the criteria set forth in § C-10A of the County Charter.][(2) Each of the 23 single member legislative districts shall be created, taking into consideration § C-10 of this Charter based upon population.][(3) The Commission shall hold one or more public hearings not less than 10 days before it submits its final plan to the Clerk of the Ulster County Legislature, in accordance with Subsection H(4) of this section. The Commission shall make its draft plan available to the public for inspection and comment not less than 10 days before the first such public hearing.][(4) The Commission shall prepare and adopt, by majority vote, a plan for reapportionment and submit its plan to the Clerk of the Legislature on or before May 1 of each year ending in "2." Such plan shall divide the County into 23 single member districts for the election of the County Legislature. Such plan shall be able to be subjected to a permissive referendum, as if it were a local law, provided the New York State Legislature shall have enacted legislation and the Governor shall have signed into law such legislation or such legislation is otherwise caused to become law.] (5) [If t]The Commission’s [on Reapportionment's plan is not subjected to a permissive referendum or is approved at referendum, it]reapportionment plan shall have the force and effect of law and shall be deemed the reapportionment plan of the County Legislature commencing with the general election in the year ending in "3." [If the Commission on Reapportionment's plan is subjected to a permissive referendum and is defeated or otherwise not enacted in such permissive referendum it shall not take effect. In such a case, any resident of Ulster County may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction to reapportion the County Legislature into 23 single member districts which otherwise meet the criteria of this Charter and applicable laws.] (6) [Upon any such reapportionment plan becoming effective, it shall be submitted to t]The Ulster County Board of Elections[, which]shall make adjustments as may be necessary and appropriate to comply with the adopted plan.[ or pursuant to any court order]

I.    The County Legislature shall appropriate such funds as it deems are necessary for the Commission[(s)] to effectively conduct its business. The expenditure of such funds shall be under the sole control and discretion of the Commission[(s)] subject to the provisions set forth in this Charter and applicable federal, state, and local laws.

J.    [A ]The Reapportionment Commission shall be dissolved on the day following the general election in years ending in “3.”[which it submits its plan to the Clerk of the County Legislature].

[K.  A vacancy in any Reapportionment Commission shall be filled in the manner that the vacant position was originally filled. A vacancy shall be filled no later than 15 days from the date of the vacancy.]

[L.  If the County of Ulster is not authorized to reapportion in the manner provided for herein pursuant to an applicable State law, including but not limited to the portion authorizing a permissive referendum, the Ulster County Charter Revision Commission shall be reconvened, as provided for in § C-5 of the Ulster County Charter, not earlier than September 1, 2017, and not later than November 1, 2017, for the purpose of providing for a method of reapportionment of the 23 Ulster County legislative districts pursuant to § C-10 of the Ulster County Charter.]