4/21/2011Posted by MJ
The Buffalo News and LUSJ both reported on the 4-2 vote to approve the new ward boundaries. Both Jack Smith and Andrew Chapman voted no questioning the representation of lower income residents.
...“We want to protect the district core,” Chapman said. “The best way to serve downtown is to have a single alderman.”The one downtown representative is interesting. Does one representative equal a 4-1 disadvantage if none of the other aldermen "care" about DT? If each had a piece would they then all care and work toward making it better? Lockport is not very big land wise and I find it a stretch to believe that an alderman could not equally represent a pie section. Any troubles north of High have a negative effect south of High due to the proximity of each. Preemtively addressing issues in the "bad" section will only add value (or retain it) in the "affluent" outer sections. An alderman responsible for a piece of each could be a bridging force.
With the new redistricting, three different wards cover downtown Lockport: Wards 2, 4 and 5.
And while Smith and Chapman continued to argue that political and financial areas have been divided, First Ward Alderwoman Richelle Pasceri said “equality of representation” and to comply with the “one-man, one-vote” policy was their main goal.
“At the end of the day, everyone is represented fairly,” Mayor Mike Tucker added. “Some people are moved around, but at the end of the day everyone is represented the same.”...
The LUSJ reportred that Chapman has some issues with the proposed realignment:
...Drexelius proposed a redistricting that significantly alters the shape and geographic size of every ward, but manages to bring population differences to less than 1 percent.
Each ward appears to have been drawn to include the address of its current alderman, so that no two were put into the same new ward.
That irks Chapman. Covering incumbents should not be a parameter of or priority in redistricting, he said.
“This is a 10-year plan. Why are we drawing lines around where the aldermen live, when potentially none of us will be around in 10 years?” he asked. “If (Drexelius’) goal was to not pit incumbents against each other, that’s not a proper goal. I say draw the lines rationally and let the chips fall where they may.”...
As per the Buffalo News article, I thought the incumbent restriction was a legal requirement?
The Buffalo News reported on the public meeting date for the proposed Ward realignment from the 2010 census.
...scheduled a public hearing for April 20 on a revised ward map.
...Drexelius said he used the boundaries of the new County Legislature districts as ward borders as much as he could. The map reflects a long-standing shift in population away from the western part of the city toward the south and east....
...Drexelius said, “The goal was not to have any incumbents running against each other. That is a legal goal of reapportionment."...The PDF of the map is here and a copy of the proposed law is here.
The county maps can be found at the Niagara County website.
A thank you to Jack Smith for getting me the documents.