Redrawing the Lines

14 Jan
Erie County Hall. Buffalo NY
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An article submitted by the Chairwoman of the Erie County Legislature, Barbara Miller-Williams.

Getting Ready to Draw the Lines
By Erie County Legislature Chair Barbara Miller-Williams

Changes are on the horizon regarding who will represent your interests in government on the local, state and national level.  And while this may seem like a mundane activity, it becomes important when you think about the resources that an elected official can bring to your neighborhood.

For Erie County we will be redrawing the lines of each of our Legislative Districts.  We do this every 10 years but this time it will be more than just a shifting of the lines, we are also reducing the number of Legislators from the current 15 to 11.

To facilitate the process of drawing the lines the Erie County Charter calls for the formation of an Advisory Committee on Reapportionment by the Erie County Legislature.  The purpose of the Committee is to advise the Legislature on how the county legislature should be reapportioned consistent with federal and state law.  We will be appointing members to the Committee in January and February and then as we are given the new population data from the Census Bureau the Committee will meet to create a proposal for the new districts.

This year I feel the Advisory Committee on Reapportionment is more important than ever. Insuring that the entire process of drawing new lines for the legislative districts is a fair, open and transparent process is imperative.  There will be additional challenges this year as we reduce the size of this body from 15 members to 11 and we need to make sure that facts, and not politics, govern the process.

And the very best way to assure that we are open and transparent is to have strong community involvement. So I am asking each of you to do your part to assure that the County Government is responsive to your needs and the needs of your neighborhood by staying informed about the redistricting process.  You can check the website for the Legislature for updates and there will be News reports as the process unfolds.  As always I encourage you to call my office with questions about the process with regards to the County Legislature redistricting.  (For questions about Federal, State or City redistricting call the office of your representative).

Also if you are involved in a group that is interested in suggesting advisory committee members or you are an individual interested in serving on this committee I encourage you to submit a letter of interest to the Clerk of the Legislature no later than February 4, 2011.  Letters of interest should be addressed to:

Robert M. Graber
Clerk, Erie County Legislature
92 Franklin Street, 4th Floor
Buffalo, NY  14202

I thank you for helping us, as your elected officials, to keep the political process open and fair to all members of our community by staying informed about the redistricting process.

5 Responses to “Redrawing the Lines”

  1. Leo Wilson January 14, 2011 at 6:45 am #

    I wonder how sincere they are about community involvement and transparency, in the wake of the discussions about rebuilding or moving the zoo, increasing traffic capabilities across the border, the waterfront and the Statler building? I’m completely opposed to the idea, but our local government would get more done if they bought a box of cigars, went into a room with no windows and locked our public out. WNY is a wierd place to live.

  2. Tom Dolina January 14, 2011 at 7:46 am #

    WNY: Weird New York. I think it can be marketed!

  3. Leo Wilson January 14, 2011 at 9:13 am #

    Have at, Tom. Give me a free one when you’ve sold 100 of those T-shirts 🙂

  4. Warrey January 14, 2011 at 1:34 pm #

    With 11 legislators, it will be virtually impossible for any one party to gain 8 out of the 11 votes needed to override any County Executive’s veto. This represents a shift from 66.67% to 72.73% to override. The office of County Executive has gained a tremendous amount of power at the expense of the Legislature. Once again, the voters of Erie County have given away their voice.

    County government is broken. The name of the position should be changed to County Dictator.

  5. Warrey January 15, 2011 at 3:57 pm #

    Oh, by the way, Collins has veto power over any redistricting plan submitted. It is unlikely any dem plan will get more than 9 votes. Collins controls the process with his 6 republican votes.

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