Legislator questions legality of reapportionment plan

Oswego County Legislator Dan Farfaglia, the lone Democrat on the legislature’s Reapportionment Committee, questioned the legality of the new district boundary lines during Tuesday’s meeting.

Farfaglia argued that, under state Municipal Home Rule Law, the districts cannot be split as they are under the proposed plan.

Following the announcement of some minor changes to several districts, Farfaglia presented his argument.

He said his understanding is that a town must meet a certain population requirement to be split.

Legislator Dan Chalifoux said he believed the committee was in compliance with the law and referred to County Attorney Richard Mitchell.

Mitchell said the state criteria are in deseeding order. “It may not be practical to divide by 25,” he said. “We’re still drawing boundary lines on the districts. I’ve not seen numbers on the districts.”

Farfaglia said the law didn’t appear to allow any exceptions.

“There are towns being divided that should not be divided,” Farfaglia said, adding that Hannibal and some of the other towns are not large enough to be divided.

Chalifoux said the plan is in compliance. “It’s not either or,” he said.

Farfaglia said he believed all of the standards should be applied. “We aren’t in that position right now,” he said.

Mitchell said he would take a look at the law.

by Carol Thompson

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