Bello vetoes redistricting bill, proposes ‘independent’ commission to reassess plan

Local Politics

(News 8 WROC file photo)

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Monroe County Executive Adam Bello announced Monday he vetoed the redistricting plan previously put forth by the Republican-led county legislature.

According to county officials, Bello introduced legislation to create an “independent redistricting commission that puts the public interest ahead of party politics.”

“The Republican Majority’s redistricting process last year was deeply flawed. It lacked transparency,
and meaningful public input and did not provide adequate information about the proposed districts
to legislators or the public,” Bello said. “We must start over with an improved process. Creating an
independent redistricting commission will ensure that voters have confidence that the redistricting
process is fair and impartial.”

Bello says the vetoed plan also didn’t comply with Municipal Home Rule Law, which requires any local law to be reviewed by legislators for seven days before passage. According to the county executive, legislators received the Republican-backed bill the day before the final vote.

Bello says the proposed commission would aim to draw compact, contiguous districts to avoid dividing Towns, Villages, and neighborhoods within the City of Rochester. He says the eight-member body would be comprised of community representatives and Board of Elections commissioners, adding that any elected officials political party officials, lobbyists or relatives of such, would not be eligible for the commission.

The county executive said the veto, and proposal for the commission, were sent to the legislature Monday.

Also Monday, Democrats in the Monroe County Legislature elected a new leadership team. Yversha Roman was selected to continue serving as Minority Leader while Rachel Barnhart and Linda Hasman were each selected as Assistant Minority Leaders. According to the Democratic caucus, it’s the first all-female team to lead a party caucus in the Monroe County Legislature.

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