The Rural Patriot

September 25, 2006

Judge Himelein to Decide on Cattaraugus Co. Redistricting Issue

Filed under: Cattaraugus County,Redistricting — theruralpatriot @ 10:09 am

Judge Himelein will hear arguments from Cattaraugus County Attorney Dennis Tobolski and the attorney for David F. Wright this Thursday, September 28, regarding Mr. Wright’s concern alleging that the redistricing performed in 2003 may violate statute.

Both sides have agreed to seek summary judgment that will allow Judge Himelein to decide the case without taking it to a jury.

Mr. Wright said today that statutes call for one redistricting vote every 10 years. The County Legislature, he claims, redistricted twice in 2003.

The first was a weighted voting plan that is designed to meet the “one man, one vote” qualities in the Constitution, and the second was a 17-member County Legislature in eight re-drawn districts.


July 21, 2006

Cattaraugus County Redistricting Plan Lawsuit

Filed under: Cattaraugus County,Redistricting — theruralpatriot @ 3:17 pm

Machias man challenges county’s redistricting plan

LITTLE VALLEY — A lawsuit has been filed against Cattaraugus County seeking to overturn a 2003 legislative redistricting plan.

A Machias Democrat, David F. Wright, filed the lawsuit in state Supreme Court in Little Valley Friday. (July 14, 2006)

Mr. McCandless said the lawsuit seeks to overturn a redistricting plan approved May 14, 2003, that also reduced the number of legislators from 21 to 17 in the November 2007 election. On the same day, county lawmakers approved a “weighted voting” plan that sought to restore the “one-man, one-vote” principle. Ideally, in a “one-man, one-vote” situation, each legislator would represent 3,998 people. In 2003, county legislative districts were still based on the 1990 census. The weighted voting plan took into account population changes found by the 2000 census in assigning legislators similar populations to represent.”

(Mr. McCandless is the Cattaraugus County Democratic Party Chairman.)

Two plans were enacted; however, only one is allowed under municipal law.

The Republican-controlled County Legislature’s redistricting plan is not favorable to Democrats, Mr. McCandless said. “We fought to reduce the size of the Legislature,” he said.

Jerry E. Burrell, Cattaraugus County Republican Party Chairman was also interviewed for this article. He stated, “It’s interesting, he said. “Part of the (redistricting) objective was to reduce the size of the Legislature,” and didn’t know “why democrats were opposed to that”.

It looks to me that the Democrats aren’t opposed to the size of the legislature. What they do want, however, is the redistricting plan developed and implemented in a legal manner.

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