Elaine Denton, Manlius Town Councilor
When I moved to the Town of Manlius in 2009, local races ran uncontested. There was no choice for town councilors. Three candidates were running, usually the same ones that were already on the board and that was it. It was almost a decade before there were choices. First in 2017 and then every race after that. Now just 6 years later after residents have had choices, Republicans, who lost the majority of the town board in 2019 after decades of control, are proposing changing how we elect our town councilors.
But when you look at the two towns that currently have a ward system in Onondaga County. They still have races that are going uncontested. Voters in the wards that only have one candidate have no choice. Let’s not go back to that in the Town of Manlius. Let’s keep our Democracy healthy by keeping our at large seats. Anyone anywhere in the Town of Manlius can run for the Town Board and I don’t think we should limit that.
Our county legislators represent over 27,000 people, almost the entire size of the Town of Manlius. If this was too much then why didn’t county legislators add more seats to the county map. But this wasn’t even part of the conversation when legislators redrew the districts in 2021.
Yet Republicans want to divide the town into smaller districts. Electing town councilors with less votes. Did you know that currently town councilors are elected with more votes than our county legislator? To be elected to the Town Board, candidates have to get almost 5,000 votes! That is amazing for a local election. That is more than every county legislator race and even City of Syracuse wards!
Let’s not go backwards. Keep Manlius strong by keeping us united! Vote No on a ward system!