Oneida County Legislature Approves Reapportionment Plan
In a 23 to 4 vote, the Oneida County Board of Legislators approved its new district lines, with many lauding its near equal representation for all 23 districts.
But, it was one Democrat's statements prior to the vote that set the night's tone.
That was Dave Gordon, a recently elected legislator from New Hartford. He spoke to other members of the County Legislature Monday evening before voting on the county's new lines.
During a three minute speech, Gordon said the districts were "Joseph-mandered," and claimed it hurt some legislators. He also said that he was a proponent of cutting the board even further, dropping the number of lawmakers to 19.
But, Legislator Ronald Townsend was offended by Gordon's statements.
George Joseph, who served as the reapportionment committee chairman, said "it's easy to attack the process," but the lines were created fairly and represents the county well. He also noted that "there isn't a district that doesn't show any disappointment," proving they are balanced.
Republican Ed Welsh was also happy with the results and says he didn't put much stock in Gordon's comments.
"People get frustrated," Welsh said. "It is what it is."
Even County Executive Anthony Picente, who watched the vote take place, was pleased with the bipartisan support. He says the lawmakers took initiative and made decisions providing better representation for the people.
Picente was quick to add that even with less legislators, Oneida County's Board is still larger than 50 other counties in New York.
Following tonight's passage, the new districts will be in use after the upcoming November election cycle.