County Legislature eyes weighted voting

A population increase in the county hasn't occurred since the 1970 census and compared to 2000 census data, the population grew by 8,172 resident or 5.58 percent in 2010 census data. After the 2000 census the legislature increased by 2 members to the current 15, and after the 1980 census, the legislature reduced one seat to a total of 13.

Farley proposed what he thought was a simpler solution, while he didn't favor increasing government, to combine District 1 and 2, representing the northern and southern portions of Schenectady into one district and adding a legislator to the combined district. The district lines have remained unchanged since 1965 when the legislature was created and the Board of Supervisors, consisting of municipal leaders, was tossed aside.

"Over time the City of Schenectady has not grown as much as the outside communities, towns and villages and hence now two-thirds comes from outside that area," said Farley. "My guess is not that the city grew by that much they were probably undercounted in the last census."

The city increased by 4,314 residents over the last decade according to census data, which totals 66,135 residents. To rectify this change, said Farley, a weighted voting system is not what the county should pursue.

"I know that the county attorney has come up with a weighted voting plan, but that is not what a County Legislature does. A County Legislature should not have more than one person having more than one vote," said Farley. "These districts are no longer the same size. There are a lot of ways to solve this."

Farley said district lines should be redrawn since the population of Schenectady in respect to other municipalities has changed.

"I think it is far better than creating a weighted ballot," said Farley. "By combining those two districts in the City of Schenectady you have a situation where the district sizes become much more comparable; they are not half the size of the next biggest district."

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