Comments & FAQs


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)


1) Does reapportionment and redistricting mean the same thing?

For purposes of the work of this county commission, the terms are used interchangeably. Reapportionment is often referred to the process of deciding on the number of seats in the US Congress’ House of Representatives based on population changes. On this national level, redistricting is the process of drawing the lines of the districts after reapportionment is complete. At this time the Ulster County Charter sets the number of districts and legislators at 23.


2) Why does Ulster County need a Commission on Reapportionment?

The Ulster County Charter (Section C-10) stipulates the establishment of a Commission on Reapportionment after each 10-year US Census to meet Federal and State laws that ensure equal and fair representation of all people in Ulster County. The decennial 2020 US Census has been completed.


3) If the number of districts and legislators is already decided, why not leave the current districts the way they are?

The 2020 Census will reveal any changes since 2010 in population not only in Ulster County as a whole but also in each of its municipalities. All of this information is key in either confirming or changing district boundaries in order to meet the essential stipulation of equal population representation.


4) Does “equal population” mean that each district has the exact same number of people in each? Are the people counted only registered voters?

No to both questions. The New York State Constitution provides that districts should contain an equal number of inhabitants “as nearly as may be” and “to the extent practicable.” The permissible range is within 5%. The US Constitution also requires that each congressional and legislative district have about the same number of people. Additionally, US Supreme Court cases have confirmed that every person, regardless of their voting age or citizenship status, is afforded equal representation. Therefore, districts are drawn on equal population, not equal votes.


5) Are there other rules, besides “equal population” that must be followed in redistricting?

Yes. There are a few: The federal Voting Rights Act of 1965 was designed to combat any tactics denying minority groups the right for equal opportunity to participate in the political process by electing representatives of their choice. In the process, the minority group must meet three criteria:

  •    Be sufficiently large with boundaries that are fairly regular
  •    Be sufficiently politically cohesive; and
  •    Demonstrate that they, as a majority minority, would otherwise lose the choice of their candidate.

Contiguity and compactness, to the extent practicable, preserves the integrity of communities and municipalities as much as possible so that people are better able to elect representatives who will further their interests.

  • A district is contiguous if all areas in the district are physically connected; namely, a person can travel from any point in the district to another point in the district without crossing the district’s boundary.
  • A district is compact if it is without contorted, dispersed, spikey, or squiggly boundaries. A circle shape is a better example of compactness than hotdog or salamander shape.

Favoring of or discrimination against political parties, incumbents, or candidates is not allowed. Therefore, gerrymandering is disallowed.


6) How were the Commissioners for Reapportionment selected?

The Ulster County Charter provides the guidelines for a process of selecting seven (7) commissioners. Interest and application were solicited publicly, requesting background information and intent. The initial four (4) appointments were gathered from the pool of interest; two members were selected by the Legislature’s majority leader and two members by the Legislature’s minority leader. From among the general pool of interest, the final three (3) members were selected by a review and voting process conducted by the four (4) peer members appointed by the Legislature.


7) Do the seven Reapportionment Commissioners receive a salary or stipend for their work?

No. The work of these commissioners is voluntary and uncompensated.


8) Are the meetings of the commission on reapportionment open to the public’s attendance and participation?

Yes. The meetings are open to public attendance, but active participation will be limited as indicated on the agendas and speaking opportunities will be timed and limited at the discretion of the chairperson of the commission. Public hearing(s) on the draft reapportionment plan, announced and provided ten (10) days in advance, will seek feedback on the usefulness and merits of the plan.


9) Does the commission on reapportionment report to the County Legislature and/or the County Executive for approvals?

No. The commission on reapportionment is designed to be independent. The commission will seek technical assistance from Ulster County (UC) attorneys, UC department of planning, and other UC personnel; however, the UC Charter stipulates that the finalized reapportionment plan as submitted to the County Board of Elections has the force and effect of law.


10) What are the timelines and deliverables of the commission?

  • Jan 15, 2021: All seven commissioners are to be appointed and in place.
  • Jan 30, 2021: The first meeting with County Executive and County personnel who are resources to the commission should occur.
  • May 20, 2022: A draft reapportionment plan must be completed and made available 10 days prior to one or more scheduled public hearings.
  • Jul 20, 2022: The commission shall have finalized, adopted by majority vote, and filed the reapportionment plan with the County Board of Elections.
  • Day after the General Election in 2023: The commission on reapportionment shall be dissolved.



Public Comments


Via email - Thursday, March 10, 2022


My apologies for belaboring the point I attempted to make earlier tonight, perhaps not very eloquently. I was a bit stunned by the turn of events that occurred. I am requesting this be shared with commission members and recorded in the public correspondence records for the commission. 

The labeling of elected officials maps differently than "regular" residents is a complete disservice to all involved citizens. There is no way the stigma and the extra scrutiny of maps labeled as such can ever be overcome. No matter how good or bad the map may be, the commission members, when seeing the EO label, will always be looking for the hidden grouping of advantage that surely must be present (sarcasm emphasis added). The assumption will be made the elected official has an agenda. It is a scarlett letter EO being attached to a submitted plan that signals it out that cannot be unseen or unforgotten.

 Instead, I propose, the honus should be on the commission members to review all proposals equally and fairly based on the merits of the submission and meeting the requirements as outlined by the committee previously, not on the job of the person who submitted the plan. Why should the ideas of a resident who happens to be an elected official be considered any less than say a business owner, a teacher, a social worker, a not for profit leader, an attorney.....all who might later be impacted or have influence over legislative decisions down the road? Who might have their own agenda or bias over a particular district. 

The ideas presented by the elected official might just be the perfect answer to a solution. I also believe the labeling of such and the knowledge of the commission members of the job title of some plan creators and not others might very well lead to the legal challenge this vote seems to be attempting to thwart, based on the words spoken by the presenter of the resolution. Keep the anonymity universal for all.

The labeling by number more than keeps the source invisible to the committee. That anonymity should be for all, including elected officials. 

As stated tonight, I produced over 20 maps and thought long and hard over 100 hours on how to achieve fairness in redistricting searching for the best solution. But this is more than about me. The commission will be producing their own product. Why not consider all ideas?

This decision to add the EO is biased and has no proof of merit. It simply perpetuates the myth elected officials are inherently out for themselves and is blatantly a case of discrimination. I also point out it was brought out for vote after the deadline for submission had passed and with no mention of such in the commission's guidance of submission. That in itself is disconcerting. Changing the rules after the fact.

 Although I dont know if I am the only elected official to propose a plan, with only 12 plans submitted the odds are high in that regard. Also consider Mr. Doyle's comments that only email addresses are visible. It is a real possibility other elected officials may have filed plans under guise of an unidentifiable email. To install this rule after submission appears to be arbitrary at best and discriminatory at worst. Especially if selectively enforced. Instead it should have been discussed during the drafting of the guidance, not after submission.

I am again appealing this vote to be reconsidered before the EO is attached to any submissions. While I understand the commission has complete jurisdiction of what proposals are considered, I cannot sit by idly and witness discrimination. I hope the commission will act responsibly on this matter and request and seek legal guidance on the topic. Even if not legally required, it is the right thing to do to be fair to all who spent time creating a work product. Evaluate on merit, not plan creator.

Thank you for your work

Mike Baden

Town of Rochester Supervisor



Via email - Thursday, May 24, 2022

Dear Chairman,

As the Supervisor of the Town of Hurley and longtime resident of West Hurley, I want to ask you to consider the issues that arise when representation is divided between towns.  In the case of West Hurley and Glenford, representation in the Ulster County Legislature is shared with Woodstock. The population (and voter enrollment) in Woodstock provides the legislator with a secure seat. In other words, the representative does not need the votes of the people in West Hurley and Glenford in order to maintain the seat. In practical terms, this means that the representative does not respond to constituent concerns, attend meetings in the Town of Hurley, correspond with the Supervisor's office on pressing matters related to life in the town. There are currently several pressing matters where help from the County is needed yet we cannot raise the interest or attention of our representative in the Ulster County Legislature.  We have the full support of the Legislator from Marbletown who also represents that side of Hurley and, because of the person he is, he has been interested in helping us work on resolving issues outside of his district.

If some towns remain whole and others are split, it seems to me that creates an unfair situation. Perhaps all towns should be split in the County Legislature to prevent this troubling situation of taxation without representation.

Thank you for your consideration.

Kind regards,

Melinda McKnight, Supervisor

Town of Hurley



Via email - Saturday, May 7, 2022

I am opposed to the reapportionment of County Legislative District 16. It must stay a single district encompassing only the town of Gardiner.
Thank you.
José Moreno-Lacalle, MA, DWS
New Paltz, NY 12561


Via email - Saturday, May 7, 2022

To Whom It May Concern:

Please be advised that we, the undersigned Gardiner residents for 35 years and 27 years, respectively, are 100 percent opposed to splitting the Town of Gardiner into two separate districts. It seems highly unlikely that there has been population growth/loss in roughly equal proportions in both the northern and southern portions of the Gardiner. The Town of Gardiner should be in one, and only one, legislative district.

Further, we have a sense that the intent of this split is less about dedication to population numbers and more about creating a solid Republican bloc comprised of Shawungunk and southern Gardiner, separate from a solid Democratic bloc in northern Gardiner and New Paltz, thereby destroying a county legislative district whose population is a mix of party registrations, making it a toss up in terms of which party will represent Gardiner in the County Legislature.

Republicans don't like toss ups. Toss ups make it more difficult to achieve whatever Republican dirty tricks-which, along with destruction of our constitutional republic, is pretty much all the party is about-are planned for Gardiner's near future.

Please advise by return email that this message has been received, read, and tabulated. 


Barbara A. Edelman

Mark Gebbie

New Paltz, NY 12561



Via email - Monday, May 9, 2022

I strongly oppose the proposal to divide the small rural town of Gardiner into two distinct county legislative districts (currently LD #16).  This small town has a strong sense of identity and residents have been able until now to take their concerns to a single county legislator representing all parts of Gardiner. The section that has been proposed to be separated from Gardiner has a lot in common with the rest of the town of Gardiner and no affinity whatsoever with New Paltz, a much larger town with a totally different set of issues.

I beg the Commission to reconsider this disastrous reapportionment for us and our community.

Vals Osborne

New Paltz, NY 12561​



Via Email - Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Dear Reapportionment Commission,

Moving Glenford and West Hurley (ED 5) from District 23 to District 18 will severely suppress the vote from this district. The current voting takes place at the West Hurley Firehouse, approximately 2 miles from Glenford. The reapportionment plan would require voting in Old Hurley, which is more than four times the distance from Glenford. This will greatly inconvenience voters and suppress voter turnout. Glenford and ED5 have traditionally been high volume voting areas, and voting turnout will certainly be suppressed if voters have to travel four times the distance. As it stands, residents of ED5 have complained for years that it's inconvenient to travel to Old Hurley for Town Board meetings and committee meetings; so much so that the current Town Board has instituted meetings monthly at the West Hurley Fire Dept hall to allow for local West Hurley and Glenford residents to easily attend.

In addition, Glenford and ED5 look to Woodstock for cultural and economic needs.  Most food shopping happens in Woodstock and West Hurley, the cultural events in Woodstock resonate with Glenford and ED5 residents. A great cultural affinity continues to exist between ED5 and Woodstock. Public School students from ED5 attend the Woodstock School and Onteora Middle and High school. The world famous Maverick Concert Hall and the Maverick artists' colony, touted as being in Woodstock, actually exists in ED5, West Hurley.

In addition, please note that the Ashokan Reservoir effectively cuts West Hurley in two, with the southern part of the area geographically separated by this eleven mile long body of water and considered quite distinct from the northern section. So much so that it's known to locals as "Southside." ED5 is contiguous with District 23, but clearly not contiguous with the rest of District 18, and if moved to this district will not be in accordance with the Ulster County requirement that each district be compact and contiguous.

Please reconsider restoration of ED5 to District 23 to more fully comply with Municipal Home Law requirements and to ensure the greatest possible voter participation in elections.


Tobe and Margaret Carey




Via Email - Wednesday, May 18, 2022


I am against making the town of Ulster into 3 legislative districts. This breaks up and divides a community and makes the work of our mostly volunteer political

Party’s, a literal nightmare. I also know that our citizens are confused about where to go for assistance Or even about what the Legislature does for them. I cannot see how having three Legislators for one town can truly serve that towns needs or keep it cohesive.

I urge you to reconsider the maps.

Thank you,

Amy Fradon



Via Email - May 18, 2022

Dear Reapportionment Committee,

As a long-time resident of Hurley I am vehemently opposed to the current redistricting plan. I have lived in Glenford, NY at #21 Spencer Rd. (aka 505 Ohayo mt. Rd.) for the past forty-three years. 

As you know, my town of Hurley is a long rectangle with Glenford and West Hurley in the northern section of the township and is separated from the southern part of town, Old Hurley by a natural barrier, The Ashokan Reservoir. I have voted in W. Hurley for the past 43 years and in Woodstock where I grew up in the years before I moved over the line to Hurley.

I am a senior, 74 years old, and would now, if the redistricting is permitted, have to travel outside my district to reach the polling place at the Hurley Town Hall at Wamsley Place. The drive there for me to vote is 21.4 miles round trip. The distance to my current voting venue, The w. Hurley fire dept. is 6.8 miles round trip.

Please keep ED 5 intact.


Frank Spinelli



Via Email - Thursday, May 19, 2022

To:       Members of the Reapportionment Commission

            Ulster County Legislature

From:  Phil Ryan  339-7858

           Marbletown resident

We are contacting you on behalf of the voters of Marbletown of whatever party affiliation.

Ten years ago, the Ulster County Legislature made last-minute changes in their new legislative lines and divided Marbletown into two districts.  

This year the Reapportionment Commission has the final word, which we regard as an improvement. But now Marbletown has been split into three parts.

We are particularly concerned that one of our legislators, Eric Stewart, newly elected by Marbletown and Hurley constituents, has been put into a different district that is primarily in the town of Rochester. The people he now represents would not be able to vote for him again if a change is not made.

Eric is a longtime Marbletown resident and devoted community leader. He also served on the Marbletown Council for four years. But it happens that the tiny SW tip of Marbletown is where he resides.

We realize the Commission has its hands full with a daunting list of issues and technical matters. Nevertheless we believe our Marbletown problem ought to be fixable without necessarily complicating the rest of your hard work.

So we ask respectfully that the SW tip of Marbletown be restored to Eric Stewart's district.



Via Email - Thursday, May 19, 2022

CLICK HERE for Comments Submitted by Ulster County Board of Elections Commisisoners Dittus & Quigley


Via Email - Thursday, May 19, 2022

Dear Ms. Tantillo and Fabella:

We write to express our displeasure and objection to the three County legislative districts proposed for the City of Kingston.

Currently, none of the three districts, Districts 5, 6, and 7, are non-compliant (i.e., greater or less than the required 5% disparity). In fact, currently, two of the three 3) districts are closer to zero than the proposed district lines.

The City of Kingston is the only municipality in Ulster County that is divided by Wards. And each Ward is represented by an Alderperson. Splitting up a Ward is confusing for voters and their representatives. This will result in disenfranchisement, complicate the election process, and potentially cause voters to disengage. If a Ward is divided, and there is one polling place for that Ward, there will have to be two ballots. Both ballots would have the same Alderperson, but each ballot will have the legislative district in which the person resides. Voters who live in the same Ward may not understand that they are represented by different County Legislators. And this will cause unnecessary confusion.

For example, in the Midtown Neighborhood Center, where Wards 5, 7, and 9 vote, will the voter go to the table based on their Ward to vote for alderperson or based on their County legislative district to vote for county legislative district?

If the goal is to make voting easy and to encourage maximum participation, then it’s best to stay with a simple approach. If there was justification for the division, it’d be acceptable. But because this is so capricious, we urge to reconsider and allow the current districts to stay the same:

District 5: Wards 1, 2, and 4 

District 6: Wards 3, 5, and 9 

District 7: Wards 6, 7, and 8 

We ask that the commission maintain the county legislative district lines to be coincident with the City's ward lines.

We thank you in advance for your consideration in this matter. 

Very truly yours,

John Peter Quigley, Chair, City of Kingston Republican Committee

Matthew T. Dunn, Co-Chair, City of Kingston Democratic Committee

Amee L. Peterson, Co-Chair, City of Kingston Democratic Committee



Via Email - Thursday, May 19, 2022

TO: Ulster County Reapportionment Committee

RE: Re-districting Map

Date: 19 May 2022

From: Laura Hartmann, 44 Catskill Ave in the Town of Ulster

Good evening.  My name is Laura Hartmann, I live in the Town of Ulster.  For full disclosure, I am the chair of our Democratic Committee and the Chair of, a non-partisan citizens group.

Thank you for holding this hearing.  I know the task you have been charged with is extremely difficult and there is no way to make everyone happy.  However, I think there are ways to make more people happier, and I am hoping that will include us in the Town of Ulster.

Currently, the Town of Ulster has two (2) Legislative Districts. Ulster voting districts 2, 9 & 14 are part of LD3, represented by Dean Fabiano from Saugerties.  The remainder of the Town of Ulster, LD4, is represented by Brian Cahill, who is a resident of the Town of Ulster, which also encompasses the Town of Kingston.

The new map creates THREE (3) legislative Districts in the Town of Ulster. The new carved out district encompasses parts of Hillside Terrace and Eddyville, who now will become a part of the Esopus LD8. 

The problem with having areas of any town carved out, the smaller portions that are added onto another town don’t get any attention from the legislator. The legislator will tell you differently, but that is the reality. It is also difficult to get people from those carved out sections to run for office, because the majority of the district is the town or city they are attached to, which is larger. These carve outs become no man's land – like the parts of Ulster in LD3.

This version of the legislative map makes the problem worse.  Why does LD4 include the Town of Kingston before our own residents?  That is illogical.  The TOK can be attached to Woodstock.  No disrespect to the TOK but having them in our district before folks in Eddyville or Hillside is particularly galling!

Further, as the business district for Ulster County, we deserve better, and we deserve to have fair representation.  This map dilutes the representation for our town and makes it very difficult to have a unified voice on Town of Ulster issues.  There are so many things that happen here that affect the whole of Ulster County.

We are tired of being the town that gets dumped on.  The county needs a new dump, let’s put it in the town of Ulster.  We generate the most sales tax in the county, but we don’t get the most back.  Our town pays to maintain the infrastructure that so many in the county use.

Ok, so I am venting a bit here, but I hope I am making the point of how important the Town of Ulster is to the County, and how having one representative at the County level is so important to us.  I understand that you probably can’t do one, I can ask, but please, do not leave us with three legislative districts in the Town of Ulster.  We deserve better.  You can do better.  

Thank you.



Via Email - Friday, May 20, 2022

County Legislature Rapportionment Proposed Amendments to Draft Map Submitted by Town of Rochester Supervior Mike Baden


Via Email - Thursday, July 14, 2022

To: Reapportionment <Reapportionment[at]co.ulster.ny[dot]us>

Subject: Shocked and Dismayed by Vote for a Map that splits Gardiner into two legislative districts- What are our next steps? Fix the process

To the Reapportionment Committee, 

It is much to my disappointment and concern that I've learned that your committee voted for a map that splits  Gardiner into two county legislative districts. This is despite the fact that about twenty-five people, including elected officials from Gardiner, came out to your public hearings to protest any version of a map that splits Gardiner into two districts at public hearings. 

I commented at the first meeting in protest of this move, but I wasn't able to attend last night's meeting, so I want to add something here. UNLIKE OTHER COMMUNITIES that are split into more than one legislative district, Gardiner's population is small enough to keep the whole of its population in one legislative district. It makes sense that Plattekill or New Paltz or Shawangunk are in more than one district because they have well over the number of persons allocated for a district. It does not make sense and IS NOT in keeping with historical, geographical and cultural boundaries when you break up a smaller community like Gardiner with the right apportionment of people for ONE district. It is a division that goes against boundaries that have been well established to break Gardiner into two legislative districts, and I'm pushing back harder now, because, it seems that your committee has decided not to listen to all of the Gardinerites who commented against this division at the public hearings about the "draft" of a map.

I'm honestly very upset that your committee has acted in a way that ignores the comments from residents of my community. Who the heck really wanted to attend one of these boring "draft of the map" hearings, and yet, so many came and spoke out against the map with its implications for Gardiner. We did this because we thought you would listen to us, and for every one of us who attended that "packed room in the Modena firehouse", there are many, many more who simply don't participate in this kind of political hearing. So please ask yourself how could this process fail to listen to us? What was the point of our public comments if you weren't going to keep Gardiner in one district based on what we said? I attended the first meeting in good faith, feeling that you would listen. I was shocked and am dismayed that your committee ignored all of our comments to vote for a map that splits Gardiner into TWO districts. What was the point of these public hearings and our comments? 

I'm unsure what can be done at this point. The latest map and your vote fail to take into account our concerns in Gardiner, and I am left feeling like nothing we said mattered to your process. So what are the options for Gardiner at this point? We shouldn't be split up for the next ten years because your committee's process failed us in Gardiner. How can we fight your vote for this map? What can we do to change the map after your vote?  


Kim Mayer