January 19, 2012

Robertson elected legislature chair

Two weeks after a 7-7 deadlock that withstood nine separate votes, a slightly different set of 14 legislators voted Martha Robertson chair by a 9-5 vote over fellow Dryden legislator Mike Lane. The county's press release tells the story:

The Legislature overcame repeated deadlock at its last meeting two weeks ago, and reelected Martha Robertson (D - District 13, Dryden) to her third year as Legislature Chair in 2012. The Chair's position is filled each year by a majority vote of the 15 members of the Legislature and is responsible for overseeing all Legislative functions.

While the Legislature at its last meeting voted nine times but failed to reach a decision because of repeated, 7-7 tie votes, tonight's decision came by a single ballot, with 9 Legislators voting for Robertson and 5 for Mike Lane (D - District 14-Dryden). Voting for Robertson were Legislators Pat Pryor, Jim Dennis, Will Burbank, Peter Stein, Dooley Kiefer, Nathan Shinagawa, Robertson, Carol Chock (who had been excused from the last meeting), and Brian Robison, who changed his vote from the previous rounds two weeks ago. Voting for Lane were Legislators Pam Mackesey, Frank Proto, Leslyn McBean-Clairborne, Dave McKenna, and Lane. Legislator Kathy Luz Herrera, who had voted for Lane the last time, was excused from tonight's meeting.

Congratulating Robertson on her election, Lane said he believes this year's leadership process was valuable, that the more the process is open to public view, the better it is for everyone. Chair Robertson told her colleagues she looks forward to working extremely hard with them in the year ahead.

For Vice Chair, five candidates were nominated: Legislators Jim Dennis, Will Burbank, Peter Stein, Frank Proto, and Kathy Luz Herrera. In one ballot, results were split--with 5 votes for Proto, 4 for Burbank, 2 each for Dennis and Stein, and 1 for Luz Herrera. In comments before the ballot, several legislators commented on the importance of the person in the Vice Chair position to serve as a complement to the Chair. After the single Vice Chair ballot, Legislators voted 12-2 to postpone the decision until the Legislature's next meeting February 7. Last year's Vice Chair, Dooley Kiefer, will continue to serve until a new Vice Chair is elected.

Somehow the press release, while containing fewer quotes, seems to tell more than the Ithaca Journal story.

Also worth watching: Congressman Maurice Hinchey announced his retirement. Combine that with general redistricting, and the political boundaries of all kinds are a lot more fluid than usual. (Hinchey represented Dryden before the 2002 redistrictring, but Richard Hanna is our current Congressman.)

Posted by simon at January 19, 2012 7:00 AM in
Note on photos