Do you have more questions?
Here is where we will post the answers to frequently asked questions, along with opportunities for in-person meetings to get more information.
Please use the Contact Us form to get a hold of us with your questions and requests.
Saturday September 20th 9:30-11:00 Mt. Ivy Diner – get a free cup of coffee along with answers
Sunday September 21st 10:00 a.m. Wesley Hills Village Hall
Monday September 22nd 8:00 p.m. Suffern Village Auditorium
Saturday September 27th 9:30-11:00 Mt. Ivy Diner – get a free cup of coffee along with answers
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where can I find the election details?
You can register to vote until 9/23 and get absentee ballots (in person) up until the Monday before the Special Election. Check out our election details page for more answers.
Will this election get rid of Christopher St. Lawrence?
No. This election is not about voting for or against any particular person for the Town Board or for Supervisor. This election is about changing the system itself – changing the overall structure and make-up of the town board. The supervisor’s job is to exercise the decisions of the town board. If you want more influence over the job of the supervisor, you will want more influence over the board members themselves. There are a lot of incumbants who have enjoyed overwhelming support by certain portion of Ramapo, those who voted them into office can vote them into office again when the Ward System is established. Of course it will also finally be a great opportunity for others to run knowing that they don’t have to court the vote in areas of Ramapo not familiar to them.
How will Ramapo be divided into 6 wards?
State Law states that the local board of elections will take responsibility for this task.”Whenever a proposition shall have been adopted in a town of the first class for the establishment of the ward system and the election thereafter of one councilman from each ward, the board of elections of the county in which such town is situate shall divide the town into four wards and fix the boundaries thereof, unless a proposition shall have been adopted to increase the number of councilmen from four to six, in which instance, the board of elections shall divide the town into six wards and fix the boundaries thereof. “(Town Law §85  )
“So far as possible the division shall be so made that the number of voters in each ward shall be approximately equal” (Town Law §85  ).
The ward system is deemed established only upon the date the county board of elections duly files a map “showing in detail the location of each ward and the boundaries thereof” (Town Law §85  )”
While it is legally the responsibility of the board of election the Town of Ramapo has already passed a town law attempting to take this responsibility unto itself. The legality of this law on the books is questionable and will be challenged after the election if the Town attempts to do so.
Does the Ward System System Violate the Voting Rights Act?
The Ward System does not violate the Voting Rights Action. The Voting Rights Act (Section 2) actually supports elimination At-large Voting in favor of district based voting to address Minority Rights! That doesn’t mean that the Town of Ramapo might not try to get Ward divisions that could dilute minority rights. This is a fight that would need to be fought but only if we first get the Ward System approved. Vote YES to improve minority representation in the Town of Ramapo.
For a really excellent article that answers why at-large voting is discriminatory please read this from the NAACP: http://www.naacpldf.org/files/case_issue/At-Large%20Voting%20Frequently%20Asked%20Questions.pdf
Will the Ward System increase the cost and bloat town government?
The Town (over) compensates each board member and increasing the number of board members will increase this amount. This is the single biggest argument that the supervisor brings up when he says he is against the Ward System. On the radio on Friday morning 9/19 he stated that the current salary is $35,000+ benefits. So then he rounds that up to $50K x 2 and says that this will cost $1 million per year over 10 years. He is right. But then again this is the same man who has been raising the existing salaries and benefits for the incumbents council members again and again for many years now. The amount of money saved by getting an independent board elected will totally outweigh any additional (if any) expenditures there might be.
1) The current town board has been voting to increase their salary and benefits for years and years now. The current compensation is already too high. If we had better representation it shouldn’t have gotten this out of hand. Village board members across the villages make 1/10th as much as the town board members and do nearly as much work. When a new board is elected they can finally revisit the current compensation structure.
2) The BIGGER ISSUE is the mega millions of dollars already being spent on the current town government, never ending legal proceedings due to poor decisions, and bad financing and spending decisions.
We must have an expanded board to bring balance back to decision making and help curb spending and tax hikes. In recent years a lack of dissent and discussion on the current town board has led to tens of millions of dollars of debt and questionable expenses paid by the taxpayers. Making the town board reflective of all the town communities and populated by council members who are professionals and not politicians gives us the real opportunity here is to have a truly functional town board that makes decisions based on real need and not simply giving away patronage positions and making incredibly large scale financial decisions on the scale of millions and millions of dollars without public knowledge, involvement or influence.