Valley Viewpoints: Throw out the plan

by Barbara Brown, Pennellville

A news article in the Oct. 13 edition of The Valley News, regarding Democrats irked over redistricting, should have included Republicans, too!

I had been advised that Palermo, which had been in one piece 20 years during my tenure in the legislature, was being split with the Scriba district, the New Haven district, and looking at the property map, even the Volney district.

I spoke to Chairman Beardsley and inquired as to why. For 20 years, children who had gone to school in five school districts and had six mail routes within their area could still know they lived in Palermo and had some sense of community.

I worked for what was the best for the community I lived in. I got it grant monies for a salt shed. I worked with the fire company to secure grants. I worked with my assemblymen to get a member-item generator for the Palermo United Methodist Church to fulfill our Emergency Preparedness Plan.

Is a Scriba legislator going to worry about Palermo? Is a New Haven legislator going to concern his or herself about Palermo?

There was no need to split District 8 into different districts. Why wasn’t Legislator Farfaglia’s plan looked at? Why didn’t the committee give it consideration?

Why wasn’t the board of elections allowed to do the redistricting? Both commissioners would have all the numbers of electorate in each area and would be able to keep the department within budget instead of causing more expense for more districts and more employees.

When I went to the committee meeting on reapportionment, the map I was given was the 17th version of the committee endeavors.

This time, the District of Hastings crossed Route 33, came down Blumer Road, ran up County Route. 54, across to County Route 18, back down County Route 33 to Blumer Road, carving a heavy agricultural and rural housing area out of the Palermo District 8, right next door to Legislator Dan LeClair’s residence.

Why is he being denied his district? Rumor has it, so that I can’t run against him. Do you believe this? I could, however, now run against Fred Beardsly. Did this “non-partisan” committee even think of that?

My suggestion is to throw out the 17th version and let the board of election commissioners do their job. Give administrator Phil Church a chance to control the county budget by not burdening him with extra unnecessary expense for hackneyed election districts that are not needed or wanted.

Hoping to see you all at the public hearing when it is called.

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