A bipartisan commission of government officials and lay people will likely vote Thursday on that question. Their recommendation is not binding, and if they vote for the change the county Board of Legislators will decide how to proceedOther than Harry Hertline, just who is on this "bipartisan commission" and what is their track record on issues? If Mr. Hertline is an example . . . We, the People, are in trouble. One of his last acts on the Legislature was to ramrod approval of the Consent Order with DEC (he feeling there was no need to study it) . . . effectively committing residents in his City of Utica district to fund suburban improvements through their sewer user fees. This behavior was more like that of a political operative than a representative of the people. Take a look at his old district in West Utica . . . It went from being one of the best neighborhoods in the city to being among the worst.
I've often sensed over the last few years that our County Executives were really figureheads anyway . . . hand-picked by an elite group of unnamed insiders . . . each put into place to fill a vacancy . . . then sequentially kicked "upstairs" to other positions as their un-re-electability became apparent as the County continued to decline.
No disrespect to Mr. Picente, but who in the general public really heard of him before he was appointed? He was not known for speaking out on issues earlier. The insiders seemed to have run out of familiar candidates when he was picked. Now that people are voicing dissatisfaction with Mr. Picente (because county policies have not changed one iota for the last generation and the decline continues), the "insiders," whomever they are, are looking for an alternative method of locking in their power. It's much easier to manipulate a Board of Legislators into picking an administrator than a whole electorate into picking an executive (eh, Mr. Hertline?).
Executive, or Administrator . . . or Puppet?