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.