Cortland City Council Continues to Resist Changes to City Voting Districts
Despite potential confusion among city voters and increased costs to the County Board of Elections Cortland City Lawmakers say they see no reason to realign city voting districts and reduce the size of the Common Council.
The City Council continued to reject requests from the Cortland County Legislature to consider altering city voting wards to reflect the voter approved reductions in the number of county legislative districts.
Back in November, county voters approved a proposition to cut two seats from the legislature, dropping from 19 to 17 districts. The move will save around 12 thousand dollars a year in legislative pay, but may save even more in unused health insurance benefits. Supporters of the change say it may also help improve efficiency within the legislature.
With the change one district in the Town of Homer will be consolidated, the other will be in the City of Cortland. The problem arises because the city thus far has opted not to realign its voting districts or consider reducing one seat on the council.
The County Election Commissioners say without making the change it will create a confusing and costly voting process in the city; they have cited a $6 thousand dollar additional expense per election.
Last night, city leaders railed at the idea of making any changes, Alderman Dan Quail says the city shouldn’t be forced to change just because the County opted to reduce the size of the legislature.
Alderman John Bennett says he is not hearing a cry for change among his constituents and sees no reason to change.
Mayor Brian Tobin says the county has not clearly illustrated why the city should make changes.
The county has discussed sending the city the bill for the increased costs associated with the elections.