June 3, 2022
From The Steuben County Legislature:
Some changes are in store for Steuben County residents, pending a public hearing, adoption by the county Legislature in June and a public referendum in November. Under recent New York State redistricting laws and driven by shifts in population centers during the past 10 years, County legislators recently gave their initial endorsement to the first notable change in nearly 40 years to Steuben’s legislative districts. The changes address: State laws regarding governmental districts, a declining population in the City of Hornell and notable rise of residents in the Town of Erwin.
Sustaining the representation of communities with similar needs and Equal representation in the county Legislature for all residents during the next 10 years. In the past, districts were assigned a “weight” to legislative votes, to ensure every resident was equally represented. However, population shifts, reported in the 2020 U.S. Census, show a continued and dramatic increase in the Town of Erwin and a decline in the City of Hornell, making weighted votes more complex. Legislators have considered dozens of options since the beginning of the year, designed to represent urban and rural needs and bring voters in all districts into equal standing. The option endorsed by the county Legislature Monday maintains representation with 17 legislators and reduces the number of districts from 13 to 11.
District 1 (City of Hornell) absorbs the current legislative district which includes the towns of Dansville, Hornellsville and Hartsville and maintains the current number of legislators assigned to both districts, with representation in the new district set at three legislators.
District 3 (Town of Bath) adds the Town of Bradford, with representation remaining at the current level with two legislators.
District 5 (Town of Urbana, Prattsburgh, Pulteney) adds the Town of Wayne, with representation remaining at the current level with one legislator.
District 7 (Town of Erwin) adds the Town of Campbell, and adds one legislator, bringing the total number of legislators representing the district up to two legislators.
If approved by the voters in November, the change will be the most significant one since 1984, when voters approved the move from a 34-member Board of Supervisors to the current 17-member county Legislature. More recent changes include a change from county Administrator to county Manager and adopting the county Charter.
A public hearing on the option will be set in June, followed by final approval by the Steuben County Legislature, subject to a public referendum in November