New York State Exposed: No representation in Albany

Updated: 06/23/2014 9:59 AM
Created: 06/12/2014 6:29 AM WHEC.com
By: Jennifer Mobilia

People living in Greece, Parma and Ogden are angry because there is no one representing them in Albany.  Their Assembly seat in the 134th District has been vacant for six months now since Bill Reilich left to become Greece Town Supervisor. Now taxpayers want to know why they aren’t being represented and what’s being done to fill that seat.

Residents say this is a classic example of taxation without representation. They are angry. They want to know why no one is representing them and where their tax dollars went to fund that position.

Bill Reilich's former New York State Assembly Office in Greece remains dark. The doors are locked and no one answers the phone. It's been six months since Reilich vacated his Assembly seat. Residents want to know when they'll have a representative again. 

Commissioner Peter Quinn, Monroe County Board of Elections, said, “A special election has to be called by the Governor and that is his prerogative to call a special election or not.”  

News10NBC contacted the governor's office to ask him when the 128,000 people living in Greece, Parma and Ogden will have a voice in Albany again.  News10NBC wasn’t given an answer, specifically for the 134th District. Instead, we were given statements made to other reporters, several months ago, who asked about the nine other vacant seats in the Assembly.

On November 18, the governor told a reporter in Staten Island that he has no plans to hold a special election, saying, “It’s a balance of the cost and the hardship of the election versus the community's right to representation."

So News10NBC asked Commissioner Quinn just how much a special election would cost.

Commissioner Quinn said, “It would be a $100,000 to a $120,000 to actually run a special election in the 134th as it stands right now.”

Some residents and the former Assembly representative himself question the governor’s reasoning.

Bill Reilich, Former 134th Assembly Representative, said, “The governor says we have a surplus this year, well, so we have a surplus this year, but we can't afford to hold an election? I'm a little perplexed, that's not the way our government is supposed to run.”

Robert DeRose said, “They should have a special election because I'm already paying the taxes so have the election, get somebody in there that I know or I can call on the phone or go over and say, ‘Hey, look we're having problems with the systems over here; I need to talk to someone.' I don't have someone to talk to right now.”

Carol Dalle says she wants to know where her tax dollars have gone to fund the $79,500 a year salary for her Assembly representative.  

Carol Dalle said, "It would cost more to have the election, but I'm paying taxes for nothing, they're just being thrown out the window.  Where's the $80,000 going?  Is that just going in the general fund? My tax money to represent me is going into the general fund?  I don't think that's right!” 

If you live in the 134th New York State Assembly District and feel that a special election should be held, you can call the Governor Cuomo’s Office at 518-474-8390 or email him at governor.ny.gov.

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