MAYVILLE - The devil was in the details.
New legislative districts approved by the County Legislature represent two years of back-and-forth debates on downsizing and redistricting.
And when the reapportionment committee tasked with redrawing the new 19 legislative districts - using data from the 2010 U.S. Census - emerged last week, two plans were presented. One was approved; the other thrown out.
The County Legislature on Wednesday voted to accept new legislative district lines. The plan represents two years of work to downsize and redraw the legislature, based on data from the 2010 U.S. Census.
P-J photo by Eric Tichy
For those involved, it was a devilish process.
"A lot of time and energy went into this," said legislator Tom DeJoe, D-Brocton, who co-chaired the reapportionment committee. "It seems like all of our work and effort went out the window."
Said Minda Rae Amiran of the League of Women Voters, "It certainly was a burden, especially in that it meant going to Mayville often. It also meant a lot of homework to figure out what was fair and what was in accord to the state guidelines.
"But of course my main point is that the process was a good process. The outcome was disappointing in that it sidestepped that process."
Mrs. Amiran was appointed to the commission by the League of Women Voters.
The legislature on Wednesday approved a redistricting plan brought forward by Majority Leader Larry Barmore, R-Gerry, who also chaired the bipartisan group. Barmore said the plan he supported did a better job reducing the number of towns divided in representation.
For example, he said the redistricting plan proposed by DeJoe divided the town of Ellicott and Pomfret three ways; Busti, North Harmony and Gerry were divided two ways. The accepted proposal divides Ellicott, Busti and Chautauqua two ways; Pomfret is split three ways.
"I'm glad it's over," Barmore said. "I think the people are being well-served. The bottom line is I don't think the average person cares one way or another as long as they are being served by someone."
Here's how the new legislative districts break down:
District 1 will be composed of the town of Dunkirk located west of the city of Dunkirk. District 2 will consist of the city of Dunkirk and portions of the town of Dunkirk not in District 1.
District 3 is composed of portions of the town of Pomfret. Districts 4 and 5 also includes the town of Pomfret, although District 5 includes the towns of Arkwright, Cherry Creek, Sheridan and Villenova.
District 6 consists all of the town of Hanover, while District 7 includes the towns of Portland, Stockton and portions of the town of Chautauqua.
District 8 is composed of all the towns of Ellery and North Harmony. Districts 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13 consist of the city of Jamestown, with District 10 including portions of the town of Busti, as well.
District 14 is composed of the towns of Charlotte, Ellington and Gerry, with portions of the town of Ellicott. District 15 includes the remaining portions of the town of Ellicott, while District 16 includes the towns of Carroll, Kiantone and Poland.
District 17 is composed of the towns of Clymer, French Creek and Harmony. A portion of Busti also will be included in this district.
District 18 will consist of the towns of Mina, Sherman and Chautauqua. District 19, meanwhile, includes the towns of Ripley and Westfield.
"I think in the end people won't care how it happened, as long as they have a legislator to go to," Barmore said.
"It was a long process, but it was the right process," added Mrs. Amiran. "I am disappointed how it ended, though."