NORWICH – The choice to have a Constitutional Convention, and potentially make fundamental changes to state government, is put to voters by law every 20 years.
The next scheduled chance will be in 2017.
The “People’s Convention to Reform New York Act,” if passed, would put the question to voters in 2010.
Sponsors of the bill don’t think change can wait seven more years. They’re hoping for the people to approve a Constitutional Convention for 2011, with the intention of changing “how the state does business,” suggesting that limits on state taxes, caps on spending and restrictions on unfunded mandates be addressed.
Introduced last month by Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R-Canandaigua), the bill would also prevent elected officials – unless they vacated their posts – and lobbyists from being delegates and having a hand in the reform.
Tuesday the City of Norwich Common Council passed a resolution supporting the bill 5 to 1.
“We need to at least voice our opinion that we do support change,” said Fourth Ward Alderman Walter P. Schermerhorn.
Second Ward Alderman Terry Bresina opposed the measure; he’s concerned that opening up the state’s constitution with the intention of instituting necessary reform will have unintended consequences.