Utica, NY (WIBX) - Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente is urging the State Legislature to keep the County whole when new district lines are drawn.

Picente cites examples, including defense-related companies located in Utica and Rome, that are important to the Oneida County economy.

He says dividing areas through redistricting would fragment those businesses and dilute strong community connections established county-wide.

Picente opposes a plan to put parts of the county in five separate Assembly districts, stating that to do so would be "a disservice to the people of Oneida County."

And, while he says that he understands the challenges posed by the need for redistricting, he is asking the Legislature to proceed cautiously, adding that chopping up the county would weaken the area's representation in both Congress and the State Assembly.