Committee recommends staying with 14 legislators
YATES COUNTY—Yates currently has 14 legislature members and the redistricting committee for the county suggests that number remain the same. During a special meeting on Tuesday, May 1, the group decided to make the recommendation to the county’s government operations committee.
The redistricting committee was formed this year to address the issue of reviewing legislative representation and making sure the number of districts coincides with the 2010 census information. As requested by the N.Y. State Supreme Court, the number of legislators must depend on a county’s population. Each district must have a 10 percent variance (its population can be no more than 10 percent greater than all other districts in the county).
Currently, the 14 members of the county legislature represent a total of four districts. District I (which covers Italy, Middlesex, and Jerusalem) has four legislative members. District II (Benton, Potter, and Torrey) has three representatives. District III (Milo 1, 2, 3, 5, and 6) has four members. District IV (Barrington, Milo 4, and Starkey) has three representatives on the legislature.
While the committee is requesting there still be 14 legislators, the recommendation does involve a change regarding district representation. In order to keep each district population in accordance with state law, Milo 4 would be moved from District IV to District III. The other option which the committee had looked at was reducing the number of legislators to 11.
A statement from redistricting Chair Robert Multer explains the committee wants to keep the same amount of legislators since residents in each district will have more diversity in terms of representatives’ backgrounds and ideas. Each district would continue to be represented by at least three different people if there is a total of 14 legislators. “In consideration of the least disruptive change to the legislative district configuration the voters have used for the last twenty-seven years, the continuation of each taxpayer having at least three representatives, the continuation of an adequate number of legislators to fully represent the voters, the continued possibility of each town having a resident representative, and eliminating the division of one town into two legislative districts, the committee is recommending the continuation of 14 legislators and the same four legislative districts with one minor change,” the statement read.
After Tuesday’s meeting, Clerk of the Legislature Connie Hayes said government operations will review the suggestion from the redistricting committee before deciding whether or not to bring the idea to the Yates legislature.