County delays plan
FONDA – Montgomery County is putting off its decision on legislative districts until the city of Amsterdam decides new ward boundaries.
The county plans to establish legislative boundaries for next year after voters last year approved changes in the government structure.
Board of Supervisors Chairman John Thayer said Tuesday the city has yet to complete a mandatory redistricting process since the release of the 2010 U.S. Census, and the county should wait until that process is completed before deciding on county districts.
Thayer said Amsterdam officials will meet next week to set up borders for the city wards.
“The city has to do its work before we can do ours,” Thayer said.
In November, Montgomery County voters approved a new charter that will change the county’s form of government. The charter calls for a county legislature with nine legislators and an elected county executive. The charter replaces the current system of a Board of Supervisors.
Thayer and county Senior Planner Doug Greene on Tuesday showed county supervisors revisions to a previously proposed map of legislative boundaries. The changes include moving roughly 200 residents – mostly from the city – into different districts. Three people each in Fort Plain and Palatine would be moved into another district as well.
These changes were put into place to remove small election districts that would require excessive paperwork, equipment and other costs to the county to establish a polling site in a district that may only have a few people in it, Thayer said.
Thayer said supervisors could have made the decision Tuesday, but corrections would have been needed if the ward maps in Amsterdam change.
Also Tuesday, supervisors set tentative pay rates for the new legislators, who would make $10,000 per year; the chairman, who would earn $15,000; and the county executive, who would make $85,000.
This measure passed in a 5-2 vote and will go to the full Board of Supervisors for approval.