The proposal for a state constitutional convention is just one of three ballot proposals impacting municipalities when voters hit the polls across New York on Election Day, Tuesday, November 7, 2017.
Ballot Proposal 1 to hold a New York Constitutional Convention has gained widespread attention because of the sweeping changes in law that it could lead to, if approved. The state is required to include this proposal every 20 years, with the last New York Constitutional Convention being held in 1967.
Ballot Proposal 2 asks voters to decide if New York public officials convicted of felonies should lose their pensions. If approved, courts would be authorized to reduce or revoke the public pension of a public officer convicted of a felony "that has a direct and actual relationship to the performance of the public officer's existing duties." The proposal is supported by those who say corrupt public officials should not be entitled to collect state pensions for life. Opponents say it would not be fair to rescind a pension from a convicted official whose spouse and children depend on the income. A "public officer" is defined as any elected official in New York state or appointed to public office by the governor, as well as any county, city, town, or village administrator. A judge, justice or the chief fiscal officer or treasurer of a municipal corporation are also defined as public officials as well as the heads of state or local government departments, divisions, boards, commissions, bureaus, public benefit corporations, or public authorities in New York.
Ballot Proposal 3, aims to make it easier for municipalities to fix a road, install public utility lines or add bicycle trails. Under the proposal, the state would establish a "land bank" of up to 250 acres within the Adirondack forest preserve. Area towns, villages and counties with "no viable alternative" to using forest preserve land for those public projects could make withdrawals of small parcels of needed land. Currently, the 2.6 million acre forest preserve is protected land, deemed “forever wild,” prohibiting the lease, sale, exchange, or taking of any land within it. Approval of the proposal would amend the state constitution to offer exceptions justified by municipalities. For polling locations, as well as results of votes on the ballot proposals and your local races, you may check your county Board of Elections.