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Residents Have Harsh Words For GOP As Onondaga County Reapportionment Commissioners Hold First Public Hearing

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Scott Willis
/
WAER News
Five of the six commission members were on hand for the hearing. Absent was commission chair Kevin Hulslander.

A handful of concerned residents gave Onondaga County’s Reapportionment Commissioners an earful Friday at the first of several public hearings about the plans to redraw district maps. Five of the six commissioners were on hand at Clay Town Hall, where about a dozen people showed up. Misse Ross directed her remarks to legislature chairman Dave Knapp.

"You made a promise to voters two years ago, Chairman Knapp. You signed a pledge for fair, non-partisan redistricting. That's what you're not doing here. I hope they're [voters] paying attention right now because we have a vote coming up in a couple weeks. I hope things change because this is not right."

Patrice Keegan told commissioners the process is an attempt at more gerrymandering and voter suppression.

"We're on a long road to destroying our democracy. That's why it's important for a non-partisan commission to continue. This is a power grab by the republicans and nothing more."

Barbara Evanoff says there's plenty of time to do it right.

"You have no reason to rush this process. It really needs to be slowed down and reconsidered. I live in a very gerrymandered district. I live in Cicero. My problems are not the same as people in Minoa."

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Scott Willis
A speaker addresses the commission.

Rob Santucci told commissioners that the rush to squeeze in several public hearings and commission meetings "doesn't pass the smell test."

"To rush it through, especially now when we're starting early voting, we're cramming all of this into a time period that seems artificial. It doesn't seem transparent."

Mike LaPoint implored commissioners to take the public's feedback to heart.

"Hopefully, this will resonate with all of you to maybe listen and go forward with what the people want, and not what politicians want."

Legislature Chairman Dave Knapp continued to defend the process, saying there’s been “misinformation” about it.

"This is a process laid out in our charter. That's the way we're doing this. It's the way it's been done for a long time, and pretty successfully."

The next public hearing will be held Wednesday at 6 p.m. in legislature chambers.

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Scott Willis
Legislature Chairman and reapportionment commission member Dave Knapp meets with a resident at the public hearing in Clay Town Hall.