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Hearing about districts set

December 12, 2012
By ARTHUR CLEVELAND , The Leader Herald

FONDA - A hearing on the new legislative districts for the Montgomery County Charter will be held in January, according to a resolution passed by the Board of Supervisors Tuesday.

The Montgomery County Board of Supervisors set a date of Jan. 22 at 6:45 p.m. to hold a public hearing on the matter, allowing members of the public to speak about the proposed districts.

The districts were originally split based on census data, but were altered during the meeting Tuesday night.

The alterations made were minor corrections, county Senior Planner Doug Greene said. The shifts were meant to give each district a population within a 5 percent margin of difference from other districts. The shifts included moving some lots from one district to another to better fit the guidelines of natural borders, roads and bridges.

District 1 includes all of the town of St. Johnsville and the town of Minden, except for the village of Fort Plain, and parts of the towns of Canajoharie and Palatine. District 2 includes portions of the towns of Palatine, Canajoharie, Minden and Mohawk. District 3 includes parts of Canajoharie, Palatine and Root. District 4 includes all of Glen and Charleston and parts of Mohawk. District 5 contains all of Florida, parts of Mohawk and portions of the city and town of Amsterdam. District 6 contains part of the city of Amsterdam, while Districts 7 through 9 each contain portions of the city and the town of Amsterdam.

Commission member Vincent Stark said creating the map was difficult because they were trying to balance the urge to keep communities together while following state law.

Board Chairman and Root Supervisor John Thayer, Palatine Supervisor Brian Sweet and Minden Supervisor Thomas Quackenbush were not pleased with the proposed map, voting against it.

Quackenbush said he was not pleased with the commission's map, focusing on the effect it would have on the election districts.

"It's not gerrymandering. It's keeping people consistent with regard to voting," Quackenbush said.

Republican election commissioner Terrance Smith said special ballots would be made for everyone in each section of a district. One problem area would be a small section of Fort Plain, which would only have five voters in the area and would require special ballots due to its division between other kinds of election districts.

The map could still be altered until the public hearing.

"Forty days is a lot of time to sit down and iron it out," Glen Supervisor Lawrence Coddington said.

The charter, approved by county voters in November, places a limit of four consecutive terms on each legislator.



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