Thursday, February 25, 2010

Hudson Democrats Urge Look at New Form of Government

Hudson Democrats 
make call
to explore the possibility of 
changing form of government.

At the February monthly of the Hudson City Democratic Committee, a vote was taken on a resolution which requests the Columbia County Board of Supervisors to begin exploring the possibility of changing Columbia County's form of government by charter.

There are two ways to change the structure of a county government. One is for the Board of Supervisors to propose a change and then put it to the voters in a referendum.  The other way is by direct petition. If citizens collect signatures equal to 5% of the number of Columbia County voters who voted in the last gubernatorial election, a measure could be placed on the ballot with or without approval by the Board of Supervisors.

The Hudson City Democratic Committee supports an open and bipartisan discussion, weighing the pros and cons of our current form of government. The committee also supports exploring a number of other governmental structures which might serve the citizens of Columbia County better. 

Following is the full resolution:

Whereas, the Hudson City Democratic Committee desires a county government which is responsible, accountable and representative in equal proportions and;

Whereas, currently the Chair of the Columbia County Board of Supervisors is not selected by popular vote of all the voters of Columbia County and;

Whereas, the duties and responsibilities of Town Supervisors have increased to such an extent that having Town Supervisors also serve as their town's representatives to the county government no longer makes practical sense and;

Whereas, Columbia County's current system of government has been rejected by the overwhelming number of counties in New York State and;

Whereas, we believe that a county legislature with an elected county executive would increase the efficiency and accountability of the executive functions of county government and;

Whereas, we believe an elected county legislature would increase the focus on county issues in local elections and provide better long-term planning for the future of Columbia County;

Be it therefore resolved, that the Hudson City Democratic Committee calls on the Columbia County Board of Supervisors to immediately begin the process of exploring options to reform Columbia County's form of government by charter.

The committee further recommends that a County Legislature with representatives elected from districts of equal population along with a County Executive elected by voters county-wide be one of the options studied for this new form of government.

Passed unanimously by the Hudson City Democratic Committee
Read More in Register-Star and The Gossips of Rivertown