Onondaga County’s controversial redistribution process is about to take another step forward with amended maps expected to be released later today. The county executive vetoed the original draft over concerns about potential litigation.
Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have welcomed the veto, albeit for different reasons. GOP Chairman Dave Knapp said they corrected technical errors and restored the African American majority to the 16e district to be in accordance with state law. He says they have also been able to address other concerns raised by residents.
“There were concerns that Nedrow would be split. This was fixed. There were also concerns that Strathmore would be split; we were able to fix this and make the numbers work; and keep Mattydale together.”
But Democratic lawmaker Chris Ryan fears the rush to have cards ready will mean they will fail again.
“I think the cards that have been vetoed aren’t worth changing; these cards deserve to be shredded and we’re starting over.”
But President Knapp said the charter says they must conclude it soon to meet a deadline for passing primary petitions in February, even if lawmakers themselves are not eligible for re-election until 2023.
“The charter isn’t clear. It just says the next primary after census data becomes available. Obviously, we wanted to go with the safest interpretation, which would be the next round of petitions, even though they are not intended specifically for county legislators. “
Minority Leader Linda Ervin says she could propose a change in administrative code needs at the next session to clarify the timeline and slow down the process.
“You can interpret it however you like. We spoke to the legal department. They interpret it that way. I spoke to another lawyer who interprets it in a different way. The bottom line is why y Would he be in a rush to do it before a primary that has no effect on what’s going on with this body. “
Democratic lawmaker Mary Kuhn, who said there could also be grounds for injunctive relief to stop the process altogether. Lawmakers have set a public hearing at 11:30 a.m. on December 21st, followed by a voting session.