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Montgomery County works to establish new districts

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Albany/HV: Montgomery County works to establish new districts
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Montgomery County residents passed a charter in November to switch from a Board of Supervisors to a legislature. The board called a special meeting, hoping to establish where the new districts will be, but instead, found itself at a standstill. Even though the new form of government doesn't take effect until 2014, as YNN's Maria Valvanis explains, the clock's ticking for potential candidates.

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, N.Y. -- Board of Supervisors Chairman John Thayer said, “The county can't really move forward on our legislative map until the city establishes their ward boundaries.”

The Board of Supervisors came to a standstill once again on where the new legislative districts should be. Thayer says they don't want to move forward without the City of Amsterdam establishing new wards.

“Districts being established by the county, versus districts being established by the city, can create these small pockets of people being in separate election district,” said Thayer.

Thayer says while establishing new districts, the hope is to be able to reduce current election districts, which, in turn, would reduce costs.

“Each election district requires four election inspectors. If you increase the number of election districts, then you have to increase the salaries by four for each of those election ballots,” said Board of Elections Commissioner Terrance Smith.

The new form of government won't actually take effect until January of 2014, but board members say figuring out these details now is essential.

“We have petitions that will come out in June for all of these legislative offices,” said Smith.

Thayer said, “We need to have the election districts established so people can get their petitions ready to figure out if they want to run for office so that people can figure out what district they live in and who may be running for the district.”

Thayer says he expects the city to vote on new wards next week and the county will move forward from there.

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