January 4, 2005

New BOCES head, county legislator salaries

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that Tompkins-Seneca-Tioga BOCES has named Ellen O'Donnell as its new superintendent. O'Donnell is currently the superintendent of the Chenango Forks Central School District.

An article on Tioga County notes that renewing your car registration by mail gives the state fees that would normally go to the county, so I'll be driving down to Ithaca in the future with mine.

The Journal's editorial takes up a new leaf. After last year's obsession with the county executive proposal, this year they take the issue of legislative pay and make it a reason to consider completely restructuring county government. They mention possibilities including a return to a Board of Supervisors system (which, with weighted voting, could make for some very strange politics), and ask "Would it be preferable for county legislative districts to radiate out from the city, so that each representative would have rural, suburban and urban constituents?" They also ask:

What about the size of the Legislature? Each of the 15 legislators theoretically represents about 7,000 constituents. But why 15 legislators? Would it be a serious dimunition of democracy if each legislator represented 14,000 people?

I think the answer to that one's pretty simple: yes, it would be a substantial diminuition. Dryden has two very active legislators of its own, and a shared legislator with Groton, and a lot of people still feel pretty disconnected. It may not be as problematic as, for instance, our state senate or congressional districts, where Dryden is very much on the edge, but I can't say I'd be thrilled to see anything that reduced our level of contact with legislators.

Posted by simon at January 4, 2005 8:57 AM in , , ,
Note on photos