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Panel backs county redistricting members

It appears county officials have identified the eight individuals who will be deciding the future of how county legislative districts will be mapped out in the future.

During the legislature’s Administrative Services Committee meeting, lawmakers approved a resolution appointing eight people to the Reapportionment Commission for the 2020 Census.

The individuals are as follows:

¯ Sue Evans, designated by the county League of Women Voters;

¯ Kevin Sixbey, designated by the county Chamber of Commerce;

¯ County Legislators Terry Niebel, R-Sheridan and Bob Bankowski, D-Dunkirk;

¯ Four citizen members: Randy Elf, Greg Rabb, Larry Wilcox and Sandra Lewis.

The names were brought forth by Legislature Chairman Pierre Chagnon. Originally Michael Bobseine was nominated by the League of Women Voters, but Chagnon said Bobseine declined the nomination.

The resolution states that by May 1, the commission shall make recommendations in the form of a law as to changes in the boundaries of county legislative districts to be put into effect Jan. 1, 2024.

The resolution also requests that the county attorney and the county Board of Elections attend the commission meetings and that the county Department of Planning and Economic Development assist in arranging technical support for the preparation of district maps.

The last time there was a Reapportionment Commission, members reduced the size of the legislature from 25 to 19 members. In an interview earlier this month, Chagnon said the legislature is not instructing the commission on how many districts there should be, although he has heard no talk for there to be a change in the number of districts. The last time, several groups and legislators said they felt that 25 districts was too high.

The resolution for the appointments needs to be adopted by the full legislature at its next meeting Jan. 26.

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