Cortland County Voters to Consider Reduction in County Legisalture Tuesday
Monday, November 5, 2012
Cortland County Voters to Consider Reduction in County Legisalture Tuesday
Cortland County voters will head to the polls tomorrow, when they do they have a chance to restructure the County Legislature and save some money.
When voters head to the polls they will find a proposition on the ballot to reduce the size of the County legislature by two seats.
Proposition number one calls for the County Legislature to be reduced from 19 to 17 legislative districts. This would be the first reduction in County government since the legislature was formed back in the early 1970’s.
The reduction is based on the latest census, which found some areas of the county have seen reductions in population while there has been modest growth in other areas. As a result the legislatures system of weighted voting needs to be readjusted to account for those variations. In addition to adjusting the votes, it was determined that the number of legislators could also be reduced to more adequately represent the number of voters.
Under the proposal on the ballot, one of Cortland’s eight legislative districts would be eliminated and one of Homer’s three districts would be combined with district that currently represents Preble and Scott. The reduction would save taxpayers at least 12 thousand dollars a year in legislative pay and possible more in health insurance costs.
Supporters of the reduction say it’s a step toward smaller government and increased efficiencies, opponents say it means fewer voices involved in the decision making process and will not result in much of savings but could create confusion and increased election expenses to account for extra ballots.
While the County has opted to let voters decide on a reduction of the legislature, the City of Cortland Common council rejected a reduction of city wards, if the County proposition passes city residents will be voting for seven legislators and eight aldermen, which will require extra ballots and time to program the voting machines.
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