For More Information Contact:
Colleen Pillus, Communications Director (845) 486-2000
Colleen Pillus, Communications Director
Poughkeepsie, NY … Following the successful, months-long solicitation for applicants, Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro today forwarded to the County Legislature a list of 171 candidates to be considered for appointment to the seven-member Dutchess County Independent Reapportionment Commission, in accordance with New York General Municipal Law Section 10(1)(ii)(a)(13).
Since October 2020, County Executive Molinaro engaged in a multi-platform approach – soliciting for membership via traditional media, direct email to residents, social media and his weekly virtual town hall forums – to inform the public about the opportunity to serve as a member of the Commission, how to apply and the importance of the new Commission and its work. The extensive outreach resulted in a wide cross-section of the community applying for appointment to the Commission, which will draw legislative lines based on population data gathered during the 2020 national census.
County Executive Molinaro said, “Dutchess County has again set an example for counties throughout New York, displaying a bipartisan spirit to provide the most ethical and transparent process attracting the brightest, most qualified candidates for this historic and vital commission. Finding a broad and diverse pool of qualified candidates for consideration for the Dutchess County Independent Reapportionment Commission has been our goal since the since signing the new law in September 2019 and have overwhelmingly succeeded in attracting more than 170 applicants. We thank all who have applied, and look forward to the Legislature’s deliberation to select the most capable committee possible to benefit the residents of Dutchess County.”
Now in possession of the 171 candidates’ applications, the County Legislature must make its initial appointments to the Commission by no later than Feb. 1st: Two members are to be appointed by the Legislature’s majority leader, with two more appointed by the Legislature’s minority leader. Those four members will then select the additional three members no later than Feb. 15th; that Feb. 15th deadline must be met, or all appointments are void and all previously appointed members will no longer be eligible to serve on the Commission.
To be qualified to serve on the Commission, residents must:
• be a resident of Dutchess County;
• be registered to vote in Dutchess County;
• have not served as an elected official or member or officer of any political committee in the last three years; and
• have not been employed by New York State, Dutchess County Government or any town, city or village municipal government with Dutchess County in the last three years.
County Executive Molinaro established an online form, though which residents interested in application to the Commission could quickly and easily apply; residents could also could apply by mailing a letter of interest to the County Executive’s Office.
Independent reapportionment, term limits and the establishment of a new Code of Ethics were shared goals of County Executive and Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver, dating back to 2019, to best serve County residents. The Legislature subsequently passed resolutions fulfilling each of the three objectives, and County Executive Molinaro promptly signed into law the three resolutions establishing each.
County Executive Molinaro said, “By supporting terms limits, the most comprehensive ethics code in New York, and independent reapportionment, we continue to provide a transparent democracy in Dutchess County. These successful initiatives reaffirm residents’ faith in their elected officials and ensure straightforward and honest government for years to come.”