Wednesday, May 9, 2018

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Sullivan legislature likely to go for five-four election rotation

MONTICELLO – An informal non-binding poll of Sullivan County’s nine legislators shows a five-four split in favor of a five-four election rotation.

If a local law is approved by voters, the eventual rotation would be five legislative seats elected in one year, with the other four up in the third year of a four-year cycle.  Or it could be the other way.

This has been a running discussion since last spring when a Charter Revision Commission recommended staggered terms. 

County Attorney Cheryl McCausland said during Tuesday’s Executive Committee meeting that she has two variations of a local law ready to go.

 “I have both versions of that law drafted currently.  The only thing that would change is somebody is going to flip a coin, somebody is going to decide what the four-five split is and then the local law will be finalized.

McCausland said she is leaving it up to legislators to figure out the distribution, which could be the five odd district seats one year and the four even seats two years later, or they could do districts one through five, then six through nine, or by random lot, perhaps drawing numbers from a hat. 

The biggest dilemma would be deciding which group goes first as the rotation is implemented.  That would be for a two-year term, with the other group elected for four years.  Two years later, the first group would be on the ballot for four-year terms and the staggering would be in place.

The other option that had initially been considered was a 3-3-3-0 cycle, with three seats on the ballot in years one, two and three, and no election in year four. 

 


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