Rev. Steve Felker, of Ithaca, holds out an "I Voted" sticker at the polling place at Alice Cook House Tuesday morning.

Cameron Pollack / Sun Photography Editor

Rev. Steve Felker, of Ithaca, holds out an "I Voted" sticker at the polling place at Alice Cook House Tuesday morning.

November 8, 2017

Ithacans Elect Newcomer Into Common Council, Amend Municipal Code

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The voters have decided to consolidate 11 Advisory Commissions into four and to elect a Democrat newcomer into the City of Ithaca’s Common Council in Tuesday’s elections.

Common Council asked voters at the ballot whether “the Ithaca City Charter and City of Ithaca Municipal Code [should] replace 11 boards, committees, commissions and councils with four new volunteer Advisory Commissions.”

“The current board and committees’ organizational structure is confusing to the public and challenging for citizens to understand how to participate,” the Common Council agreed in a meeting in July.

The proposal was accepted by voters roughly two to one.

Question: “Shall a local law be approved that would amend the Ithaca City Charter and City of Ithaca Municipal Code to replace 11 boards, committees, commissions and councils with four new volunteer Advisory Commissions intended to empower public participation in setting City policy?”

Voters Percentage (%)
Yes 1901 63.24
No 1105 36.76
Total 3006 100

While six out of 10 seats of Common Council were open, four of them was uncontested. Another seat was between an incumbent and newcomers. Laura A. Lewis, a board member of the Ithaca Neighborhood Housing Services, came out on top in the race for the Fifth Ward seat.

Josephine Martell, the previous occupant of the contested seat, endorsed Lewis as “a smart, capable and lovely women” in a text to The Sun prior to the election.

“I am grateful to my family, neighbors and friends for their support of my campaign for Common Council, and I am so pleased for this opportunity to represent my wonderful community,” Lewis told The Sun. “I look forward to working with the dedicated members serving on Ithaca’s Common Council as we look to solutions for challenges facing our city.”

Voters Percentage
Laura A. Lewis 493 57.46
Melissa Hall 268 31.24
Aryeal M. Jackson 93 10.84
Write in 4 0.47
Total 858 100
Fifth Ward election results.

Sun Graphics Team

Fifth Ward election results.

 

Rich John won an unopposed election to become the county legislator. While Reed Steberger was also on the ballot, he dropped out from the election in September after allegations of sexual assault.

Voters Percentage (%)
Rich John 220 89.43
Reed Steberger 23 9.35
Write In 3 1.22
Total 246 100

A quarter of the Tompkins County voted in favor of holding a state constitutional convention. This was roughly 7.5 percent higher than the statewide average.

New York State–wide Constitutional Convention referendum results.

Sun Graphics Team

New York State–wide Constitutional Convention referendum results.

 

Tompkins County Constitutional Convention referendum results.

Sun Graphics Team

Tompkins County Constitutional Convention referendum results.