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Cortland mayor worries redrawn congressional district shrinks city's voice

New York State Legislative Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment

Since Democrats control both chambers of the New York State legislature, they drew up the new congressional district map that lawmakers approved on Wednesday. But Cortland Mayor Scott Steve says this move has residents on both sides of the political aisle upset. He worries his city and their needs will be overlooked going forward.

"I think with the new districting we're pushing to an extreme of not getting the same type of representation. What I'm concerned about is because we're on the fringe, north of Ithaca and south of Syracuse that we'll kind of get lost in the shuffle because our city is somewhat smaller than those outlying communities."

Before the state redrew the map, Cortland shared a congressional district with Utica and Binghamton. Mayor Steve says Cortland fits better in that district, specifically Broome County.

"I think not keeping those Binghamton and Broome County… that area is more consistent with what we are and what are rural settings are and our city surrounded by our rural settings are than to Ithaca or the whole city of Syracuse."

After redistricting, Mayor Steve says one of his city’s biggest concerns is handling crime.

"But some of the crime is how we deal with it and how it’s dealt with in the rural areas is a little bit different that some of the bigger metropolises that can have the resources to be able to handle more support staff and more mental health and more drug health support staff than we can afford in those rural areas."

Governor Hochul is expected to sign the new maps into law by the end of this week.