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Legislature Approves County Charter Amendments

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Legislature Approves County Charter Amendments

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Legislature, by a vote of 9-5, adopted a new Local Law amending the County Charter, the action concluding more than two years of painstaking review by the Legislature’s special Charter Review Committee. (Legislators Mike Sigler, Peter Stein, Carol Chock, Dave McKenna, and Glenn Morey voted no.) Before the vote, there was some discussion of a change that had been initially proposed, but ultimately was not approved, related to the powers of the Mental Health Services Board when it comes to selecting a commissioner.

Among significant recommended changes to the Charter: changing the County’s four public works divisions—Highway, Facilities, Airport, and Solid Waste—to County departments; modifying the designation of the Planning Department and its Commissioner to the Department/Commissioner of Planning and Sustainability; changing the name of the Personnel Department to the Department of Human Resources and Solid Waste to the Department of Recycling and Materials Management; addressing the timing of special elections for vacancies; and codifying as part of the Charter an Independent Redistricting Committee, as was employed in redistricting following the 2010 Census.