Shandaken balloting set for next Tuesday

By Jay Braman Jr.
People going to the polls Tuesday in Shandaken to choose the next American president will not have anything on the town level of government to think about in the voting booth, but one important proposed law for Ulster County does appears on the ballot.

Appearing on the second page of the ballot and identified as “Proposal Number One, Local Law No. 11,” this yes or no proposition, if passed, would take redistricting power out of the hands of the county legislature and give it to an independent body.

Law overview
The following represents a brief abstract of the charter law:
Provides for an independent redistricting of county legislative districts by the Ulster County Commission on Reapportionment subject to a permissive referendum; Clarifies and/or modifies the powers and duties of the Ulster County Legislature regarding: labor contracts, subpoena powers, appropriation of funds for an independent auditor, and the creation of an auditing committee to select an independent auditor.

Clarifies and modifies the appointment powers of the’ county executive and the procedure for confirmation by the county legislature.

Provides for the appointment of the clerk to the legislature, commencing in January 2014, by the county legislature instead of the chairman of the county legislature.
Provides for special counsel to advise the legislature where it deems necessary.
Provides for the appointment of a person to act, in the interim, until the next general or special election, as the acting county executive in the event of death, resignation or some other disability that prevents the county executive from serving.
Provides for the county commissioner of finance to be the chief accounting officer of the county and for the county comptroller to be the chief auditing officer of the county.

Clarifies the subpoena powers of the county comptroller.
Provides for the appointment of a person to act, in the interim, until the next general election, as acting county comptroller in the event of a vacancy, other than expiration of a term, in that office.
Provides for terms of office for members of the Ulster County Board of Ethics.

New Congressional rep
Shandaken voters must chose a new congressional representative. In the 19th Congressional District, Democrat Julian Schreibman faces incumbent Republican Chris Gibson.
Shandaken voters will also choose a state senator for the new 51st Senate District. Incumbent Republican James Seward is facing Democrat Howard Leib.

Shandaken is also now in the new 103rd State Assembly District, where Democrat Kevin Cahill is running unopposed. Cahill has represented the Shandaken area for several terms under the 101st Assembly District.