by Carol Thompson
Oswego County Legislator Dan Farfaglia said he suspected something was awry when the proposed maps were released showing the new boundaries for the county’s 25 legislative districts.
He said he believes he has found the problem, Farfaglia said Friday.
“I don’t think the proper year’s census data was used,” he said. “The law requires that you redistrict every ten years with the census to make the county legislative districts as equal in population as possible. The proposed redistricting plan isn’t based on the changes in population from ten years ago, it’s based on changes in population from twenty years ago.”
Farfaglia said he used the County Planning Department’s own chart distributed at the first Reapportionment Committee Meeting July 3 to make his point.
“The chart shows population numbers by legislative district as if the numbers were from the 2000 census,” Farfaglia said. “But the numbers just didn’t add up. I checked and discovered the total county population listed was in fact the total population for the county according to the 1990 census – exactly, to the digit.”
According to Farfaglia, his suspicions were confirmed when he compared town populations wholly contained within legislative districts.
The legislator checked the populations for the towns of Mexico, Constantia, Sandy Creek, Boylston and Redfield and found that the population numbers used by the planning department were from 1990 not 2000.
“The population of the current legislative districts didn’t change as much as they claimed,” he said. “Worse yet, there were seven districts that were incorrectly stated as having gained population, when they really lost people over the last decade. There are also three districts that were listed having population losses when in reality, they actually got larger.
“They used the wrong data – data from 22 years ago,” he added. “And, using bad data to create these new districts raises the real possibility that the redistricting proposal may not survive a court challenge.”
The proposed district line have caused some controversy as the Volney Town Board has objected and former Legislator Barbara Brown has lodged complaints in regard to the boundaries proposed for Palermo.
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