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Christina Sonsire

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Christina Sonsire last won the day on January 8

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About Christina Sonsire

  1. "Why We Need Local Newspapers To Protect The Common Good"

    Yes!!! The Nursing Facility issue is a perfect example. With robust local media this would already be a main topic of conversation. I spend a lot of time reading the Star Gazette archives. It is so incredible to compare the level of coverage up until about 2005 with what we have now.
  2. Please note the work is underway on the Second Floor where the IDA meetings are held right now. It’s will not be completed until February.
  3. This is a question I have raised numerous times. The county has a grant that can be used for streaming. As of now none of it has been earmarked for the Legislature because the Legislature has not asked for it. I requested an accounting of what remains of the grant and how much it would cost to wire the legislative chambers at Monday’s meeting.
  4. Haha - I shared the petition to Chemung County Matters before I saw this thread today! I hope to get a post up within the next few days about term limits, streaming and several other issues that arose on Monday.
  5. Holiday Charities: Time For A Different Approach?

    That is a really good idea. I have been the Secretary of the Arctic League for about a decade. Each year we spend roughly $165,000 to buy new toys and items for around 3,000 children. Each child receives approximately 3 toys, a backpack and school supplies, a hat and gloves, 2-3 books, a grooming kit with basic sanitary supplies, candy and cookies. Our Committee that purchases toys and books tries really hard to find items that are popular and trendy, and we wait at least 3-4 years before giving the same item to make sure children don’t receive it twice. We try as hard as we can to encourage families to apply. There is no income minimum, but rather ask people to be honest when they claim to be in need. Regardless, we know a large number of families that could use help don’t turn in applications. I agree service groups should look at what each does for the community. We don’t give food (aside from snacks), clothing (aside from hat/gloves), coats, blankets etc. focusing on those areas - plus encouraging families to take advantage of all of the help available during the holidays - makes a ton of sense.
  6. 2020 Elections

    KReed - I thought you might like this. Saved it from the 2000 Presidential race when I supported Harry Browne.
  7. 2020 Elections

    I have started getting a lot of questions about this. Here is the truth - my husband and I are both extremely strong-willed and can find ways to debate about pretty much anything...legal issues, movies, child rearing, dinner...but we rarely disagree on political matters. My husband has been a Republican since he registered to vote at age 18. I was not registered with a party for a long time, was a Republican where I served on the Chemung County Republican Committee’s Executive Board for several years, and became a Democrat in 2017 after it seemed to me the Republican Party at the national level had become unrecognizable. I cannot speak for him, but my impression is that my husband and I are like the vast majority of Americans - somewhere in the middle. It’s too bad people on the fringes tend to garner all of the attention and create the incredible divisions we have right in our country right now.
  8. Achmed - What is your name and involvement with local government? I always find it interesting (ironic) to have exchanges about transparency with people who use pseudonyms.
  9. We did not have quorum for either entity at the City-County meetings. As soon as we had work product the report was shared with the public and we had a public forum at the Clemens Center where we encouraged public involvement.
  10. Achmed - Just to be clear, in my post I cited directly to the law you posted and provided legal analysis of it...
  11. This is the proposal: Local Law_____ Prohibition of discussions on public business at a private meeting where a quorum of the Chemung County Legislature is present Legislative determination. Although, by enacting § 108. Subdivision 2b, of the New York Public Officers Law, the Legislature and the Governor of the State of New York have authorized members of the Chemung County Legislature who are adherents of the same political party to conduct private meetings at which public business may be discussed, the Chemung County Legislature has determined that the interests of the county are best served if deliberations on public business are done in a public forum where interested members of the community can participate in the discussion and hear the views expressed by the Legislators. Restrictions on public business at private meetings. Notwithstanding § 108, Subdivision 2b, of the New York Public Officers Law, the Chemung County Legislature, pursuant to the power given to it by the New York Public Officers Law § 110, Subdivision 3, and Article 3 of the New York Municipal Home Rule Law, hereby decrees that members thereof who are adherents of the same political party shall not discuss public business at a private meeting where a quorum of the Chemung County Legislature is present.
  12. As I pointed out in my post, political caucuses such as these are legal under current NY statutory and case law. However, many communities have passed laws prohibiting public business to be discussed behind closed doors when there is quorum. Also, I believe if the law was challenged , courts would find elected bodies comprised of a super majority from one party are not permitted to have private discussions about public matters. I drafted and submitted a proposed Local Law to the legislature yesterday that would enact the same prohibition here. I will share the proposal in a moment.
  13. Judge dismisses lawsuits filed by Moss against Legislature

    I think a citizen’s groups to look at the matter is a great idea. The 2020 census data should be out well ahead of the 2022 elections, making that an opportune time for large scale changes to local government such as a possible reduction in the number of legislative districts, reduction in local elected officials’ salaries or even something as sweeping as a change in the overall structure of government itself such as Tonello suggested. There is no reason a study group needs to be formally organized by the government. Bureaucracy is often cumbersome, and many times thought endeavors such as this are better undertaken without governmental restraints.
  14. Judge dismisses lawsuits filed by Moss against Legislature

    Whether or not giving so much power to the chair is wise, I am pretty sure my interpretation of the rules and charter are correct (i.e. not wrong.) I think this is what you meant but just want to clarify for purposes of this discussion.
  15. Judge dismisses lawsuits filed by Moss against Legislature

    Several good points have been raised in this thread that I will attempt to address here. (Quick note - I have a fairly significant jury trial starting on Monday my ability to chime in this week is going to be greatly curtailed.) 1. The rules of the Legislature together with the laws of the County Charter say that both the Executive Branch - not just the county executive but also other department heads - along with Legislators themselves can draft resolutions and send them to the Legislature for consideration. 2. The rules and Charter give the Legislative Chairperson arguably the greatest amount of power of anyone in Chemung County government, as he has the sole power to decide what goes on the Agenda. Back in the 1980s - and 1990s we had a very strong Legislative Chairperson named John Flory. I interned for County Executive Tom Tranter in the summers of 1994 and 1995, and vividly recall the jockeying that went on between Flory and Tranter. However, Tranter respected and understood the power Flory yielded, and found ways to work with rather than against it. 3. No resolutions I have helped craft have been blocked by our Legislative Chairperson. One (regarding information about appointees) was improperly blocked by Moss, and another (Complete Streets was stalled by Moss and/or Manchester - it’s unclear). Both ultimately passed. 4. I fully agree the work toward compensation reform and term limits has been incredibly frustrating. Manchester has given me his word that resolutions will come to the floor when they are drafted. The Compensation Committee was fruitless, but I am working on a measure that I hope can get to the floor this year. I don’t know where the Term Limit Committee stands currently. 5. I don’t disagree that a return to a Board of Supervisors deserves a good look. Please keep in mind this would not only eliminate legislators, but also the elected executive position. Everyone - elected or not - should be giving this very careful consideration. I remain undecided right now.