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Will Yates County become a ‘Constitutional County’? What does it mean?

It was mostly negative feedback from the public, as the Yates County Legislature considers the move to a ‘Constitutional County’.

“This is a horrible idea. It should have been shot down from the start,” one resident said during the meeting this week. “We all know each other in this county and get along. This all came about because some people are stirring the pot nationally. We don’t need anyone stirring the pot locally.”

A committee had been established to look at the idea. The committee is co-chaired by legislators Carlie Chilson and Mark Morris. Legislators Tim Cutler, Dick Harper, and Jesse Jayne are also part of the team.

When one resident asked how many times the legislature had heard about issues related to becoming a Constitutional County, officials responded with four instances. “Why are we stirring the pot? Over four people?” another resident asked during the session.

Other residents pointed out that little has changed in Cattaraugus County, where they, too, became a Constitutional County. “This seems more like a feel-good resolution,” another speaker said. “I don’t think anything has really changed [there].”

In a practical sense, becoming a Constitutional County does not change the way a community is governed. Rather it sends a message to state leaders that they will uphold the constitution, however that may look in different situations.

The next session is planned for late-September.