Ulster County Executive Mike Hein Delivers List of Reapportionment Commission Candidates to Legislative Leaders
Kingston, NY – After widely soliciting interest in serving on the Reapportionment Commission, Ulster County Executive Mike Hein received applications from 92 eligible residents. This afternoon he provided the pool of candidates to leaders of the Ulster County Legislature, in accordance with the Ulster County Charter. The County Executive encouraged everyone who was eligible to apply to do so. This was done in an effort to counteract potential partisan politics when redrawing election district lines and to avoid gerrymandering. To ensure that every county resident had an opportunity to submit their name, the County Executive extended the original October 29th deadline to Friday, November 12th.
"Ulster County’s new legislative redistricting process can be a model for the rest of New York State," said County Executive Hein. "As the next steps are taken, I encourage all good government advocates, the citizens of Ulster County as well as the media to monitor and evaluate this critical redistricting process. Our goal is clear: to ensure every vote counts."
The Reapportionment Commission’s mission is to create 23 single-member legislative districts in Ulster County. The Charter directs the Legislature’s minority and majority leaders to each pick two candidates from the pool created by the County Executive. Those four individuals will pick the last three members from the same pool, creating a seven person Reapportionment Commission.
According to a November 18, 2010 memorandum by the County Attorney, which is attached, the steps to be taken include:
(1) As soon as the membership of the Commission on Reapportionment is established, it must evaluate existing legislative districts;
(2) Once United States census data is published the Commission may begin its work. The Commission must allow timely input from the County Legislature and provide the maximum amount of public participation possible. Also, they must adopt a calendar;
(3) The Commission should conduct informational meetings, meet with advisory departments, accept public comment and prepare a final plan for the Legislature no later than late March or early April of 2011;
(4) The Legislature must then schedule a local law public hearing, conduct the hearing on or before April 15, 2011 and adopt the local law no later than the first week of May 2011; and
(5) The County Executive should then conduct a public hearing so that the process can be completed.