MAYVILLE The lines have been drawn. And while it may not have been unanimous, the County Legislature on Wednesday officially settled on a new legislative district plan set to take effect in 2014.
Based on a referendum vote and data from the 2010 U.S. Census, two proposals to downsize the legislature to 19 districts were discussed during an afternoon legislature session. Public hearings on the plans yielded no comment from residents.
Lawmakers took turns criticizing both plans, neither of which could receive the full support of a reapportionment committee tasked with redrawing the new legislative districts.
Both redistricting plans, one supported by legislator Tom DeJoe, D-Brocton, and the other by Legislature Majority Leader Larry Barmore, R-Gerry, were drafted into local laws for approval.
Barmore defended the proposal he brought to the commission, which had been heavily criticized by many Democrats in the legislature.
"The commission decided to call them the DeJoe plan and the Barmore plan, just for the sake of identification," Barmore said.
"Somehow or another, Mr. DeJoe's name has managed to disappear from his plan. But I guess in an attack on me, my name is still on the one I brought forward."
Some legislators claimed Barmore's proposal circumvented the purpose of the commission.
"The commission met to accomplish a task and it did so," said Legislature Minority Leader Lori Cornell, D-Jamestown. "It is incumbent upon us to take the recommendation and put it forward."
Cornell on numerous occasions dubbed DeJoe's plan "the commission's recommended plan," a sentiment that was echoed by Minda Rae Amiran, a member on the commission.
"I believe the commission's plan is better," Mrs. Amiran said.
George Borrello, R-Irving, however, was quick to point out that neither plan presented by the bipartisan reapportionment commission was unanimously supported.
"It's not the commission's plan," Borrello said. "... At the end of the day politics certainly got involved."
Cornell attempted to send both proposals back to the commission; however, that motion failed to gain enough support.
Those voting to accept the new district lines presented by Barmore include:
Barmore; Borrello; Fred Croscut, R-Sherman; Tom Erlandson, D-Frewsburg; Shaun Heenan, D-Dunkirk; John Hemmer, R-Westfield; David Himelein, R-Findley Lake; Vince Horrigan, R-Bemus Point; Chuck Nazzaro, D-Jamestown; John Runkle, R-Stockton; Bob Scudder, R-Fredonia; Robert Stewart, R-Ellington; Mark Tarbrake, R-Ellicott; PJ Wendel, R-Lakewood; and legislature chairman Jay Gould, R-Ashville.
Next year's November General Election will set the next legislature.