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Historic Redistricting

—– Forwarded by Karen L Binder/Legislature/Ulster County on 06/02/2011
10:14 AM —–

Ulster County Executive

James J Hanson/County Executive/Ulster County
05/31/2011 04:55 PM

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Ulster County Executive News Release with Photo

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 1, 2011
Contact: James J. Hanson
845.802.3138

HISTORIC REDISTRICTING PLAN SIGNED INTO LAW BY ULSTER COUNTY EXECUTIVE MIKE HEIN

Historic Redistricting signing

Kingston, NY This morning, County Executive Mike Hein signed a resolution
adopting a local law (a link to the law is below) which creates 23
single-member legislative districts for election of Ulster County
legislators in November 2011.   This is the first time in Ulster County
history that an independent body drew the legislative district lines.
Commissioner Members included: Paul Benkert, Vernon Benjamin, Michael
Catalinotto, Cynthia Lowe, Richard Messina, Dare Thompson and William
West.  The 7- member non-partisan Commission worked diligently to craft
districts that are in the best interests of Ulster County residents, not
political parties and elected officials.

I want to thank the members of the Ulster County Reapportionment
Commission for their impartiality and diligence in this process, said
County Executive Hein.  This Commission counteracted partisan politics
when redrawing election district lines and avoided gerrymandering.  This
is a great example of government at its finest. Their hard work is
appreciated by all Ulster County voters.

Former NYC Mayor Ed Koch, founder of New York Uprising, said:  “Impartial
redistricting is the single most important reform for achieving a
government that is more effective, accountable, and trustworthy.  I
applaud Ulster County and its political leadership for adopting a plan
that will serve the residents of that county well.  All New Yorkers
deserve the same on the state level, where our lawmakers have less than a
month to follow Ulster’s lead in adopting an impartial plan; if they
refuse, Governor Cuomo has stated he will use his veto to ensure that the
courts do the job for them.”

Ulster County has shown the way to draw district lines that reflect the
interests of voters, not political parties.  Their example should serve as
a beacon to other governments across New York State, said Bill Mahoney,
Research Coordinator at the New York Public Interest Group (NYPIRG).

The League of Women Voters of New York State is very pleased that Ulster
County has completed its municipal redistricting process by means of an
independent redistricting committee, said Barbara Bartoletti, Legislative
Director of the League of Women Voters of New York State.  The Mid-Hudson
League of Women Voters participated in the process which was open and
resolved its issues in a timely manner.

“I am delighted with the outcome, and the statewide leadership we are
providing as Albany seeks to establish a fair, impartial districting
process similar to ours for the state legislature. And I am
extraordinarily grateful for the work of dedicated citizen volunteers and
skilled county staff that made this success possible, said Dr. Gerald
Benjamin, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Director
of CRREO.

“As the most recent charter county, Ulster County has demonstrated the
innovative nature of local government. County Executive Michael Hein and
the Ulster County legislature have truly led by example and the citizens
of Ulster County are well served,” said NYSAC Executive Director Stephen
J. Acquario.

Local Law No. 1 of 2011, A Local Law To Provide For 23 Single-Member
Legislative Districts For Election Of Ulster County Legislators Commencing
With The Election Of 2011 For Two-Year Terms Beginning January 1, 2012 And
Thereafter can be found at:
http://ulstercountyny.gov/resolutions/LL%20No.%201%20of%202011.pdf

James J. Hanson
Deputy Budget Director
Office of the Ulster County Executive
244 Fair Street, 6th Floor
Kingston, NY 12401
845-340-3629
jhns@co.ulster.ny.us

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Categories: NEWS