Friday, March 8, 2019

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Little public interest in staggered Sullivan County legislative terms

Walter (file): "... just leave it the
way it is"

MONTICELLO – The Sullivan County Legislature held public hearing Thursday evening regarding the possibility of staggered terms for their legislators.

If the staggered terms are adopted, they would begin in November 2023 and would place legislators in one of two groups based on their district number. Those who represent an even number district would hold a one-time two-year term, and those with an odd numbered district would be unaffected. This change would make it so only five of the nine legislators at a time could be up for election, removing the possible scenario of having the entire legislature replaced at once.

Resident Kenneth Walter told the legislature he was against staggered terms and sees no benefit to doing so. Walter was a member of the 2017 Charter Revision Commission that initially proposed staggered terms, but said, after having some time to think about it, it doesn’t seem as good of an idea as it was and added he is concerned about having legislators up for reelection more often.

“I just feel it’s just a lot easier and cleaner if we just leave it the way it is,” said Walter. “The State Assembly and the State Senate, they change all at one time and the world goes on.”

Walter was one of only two speakers, both presenting opposition to the term change, at Thursday’s hearing.

Legislative Chairman Luis Alvarez said he’s not sure what that indicates but wants to encourage the public to participate and share their opinions on the matter.

“The way we like to work, is basically, we serve the county, we work for the people of the county, we want to hear from the people of the county what they want us to do,” said Alvarez. “My motto: ‘let’s walk together,’ come, tell us, advise us, let us do what the public wants, not what we want, but what the public wants. I don’t know what indication is this, but there were only two speakers today.”

A second public hearing will be held at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20th.

 


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