Democratic Caucus of the Monroe County Legislature

Legislature Democrats Offer Good Government Reforms to Charter Committee

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Rochester, New York — March 6, 2014.  Monroe County Legislature Democrats submitted a letter with their suggestions for charter revisions, objections to current proposals, and questioning the legal standing of the Committee to the Charter Review Committee today. The Charter Review Committee was constituted in May 2013 to do a periodic review of Monroe County’s Charter.

“The Charter Review Committee represents an opportunity to update the way Monroe County operates, and we should use this opportunity to add transparency and restore accountability to our government,” stated Minority Leader Carrie Andrews (D-Rochester). “We hope that the Commission will give fair consideration to our ideas.”

Democrats proposed eleven significant changes to the charter in their letter. Among them are proposals to create an independent redistricting commission, reform Local Development Corporations, prohibit elected officials from receiving a pay raise without public notice, and create an Office of Public Integrity to oversee complaints of misconduct in county operations.

Lastly, the Democrats also question the authority of the Charter Review Committee. “The current charter clearly states that a Charter Review Committee shall present findings within 6 months of the committee’s appointment. As it was constituted in May, it lapsed in November. To extend the time, the Legislature should have voted to do so, but we have not,” explained Legislator Justin Wilcox (D-Brighton). “While we understand this process will move forward, any enacted proposals could be subject to dispute.”

The full text of the letter sent to the Charter Review Committee along with detailed explanations of the recommended and opposed proposals are available.