Why 6 Wards?
Ramapo is the 8th largest town in New York and needs 6 wards to better represent its many diverse communities. It is simply too easy for special interests to control 4 members versus 6.
“Shall the number of councilmen or councilwomen of the Town of Ramapo be increased from four to six?”
Currently there are four council members on the town board. Just as NY State Town Law anticipates the suitability of the Ward System of government, it also anticipates the need for larger town boards of 6 council members.
Of the ten largest towns in NY (of which Ramapo is one), all those that have adopted the ward system have increased their board to 6 members.
In either the Ward or At-Large systems of town government, the Town Supervisor is elected At Large – by all voters in the town. The Town Supervisor votes to break any ties on the Town Council. Since there are only 4 or 6 council members, ties are likely, so the Supervisor wields enormous legislative power in addition to his substantial executive powers. By increasing the number of council members from 4 to 6, the power of the Town Supervisor is reduced from 1/5th to 1/7th, leaving more of the decision making power with the council members that represent their particular communities.
Of course, ties only occur when differing viewpoints exist on the Town Council. By increasing the number of board members there is a possibility for more views to be reflected. When more viewpoints are taken into consideration a majority or super majority vote requires more discussion and cooperation rather than single handed control.