ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — A commission of local lawmakers and elections officials met Tuesday afternoon to schedule public hearings on redistricting in Monroe County.
The dates for public comment will be Wednesday, October 13th at the Mendon Fire District; Thursday, October 14th at the county building’s Legislature Chambers; and Friday, October 15th at the Hamlin Town Hall. Each meeting will take place at 7 p.m.
The five-person commission is made up of a group of lawmakers — Legislators Steve Brew (R), Joshua Bauroth (D), and Legislature President Joe Carbone — as well as the Lisa Nicolay, the Republican Board of Elections Commissioner, and Jackie Ortiz, the Democratic Commissioner.
Bauroth, in an interview with WROC, raised concerns about the short time period for the process.
“We need to make sure we hear from people, and we listen to them, and it matters,” said Bauroth. “Right now I don’t think we’re going to be seeing that.”
“This is probably the most important thing that’s going to happen this year in Monroe County. We’re not only rushing through it, we’ve made it so this commission, which is supposed to be doing the process, isn’t actually going to meet to do the work,” Bauroth added.
Legislature President Carbone said claims voices would not be heard is ‘nothing more than a partisan attempt to spread misinformation in an election year,’ in a statement to WROC.
“Republicans are eager to work in a bipartisan fashion throughout the upcoming legislative district revision process. It’s essential that all residents of Monroe County are properly represented and the path to doing so is through this collaborative redistricting process. Claims that the voices of constituents will not be heard is nothing more than a partisan attempt to spread misinformation in an election year. We look forward to receiving input from residents from all areas of the County in multiple public hearings, in person or through email comment.”Dr. Joe Carbone (R) Monroe County Legislature President
A statement from the League of Women Voters Rochester Metropolitan Area echoed concerns over the process.
“There is no hurry to redistrict,” the League said in the statement.
“The League is concerned that the plan may be to compress the entire process to complete it by December 31,” the statement continued.
According to Lisa Nicolay, the Republican Board of Elections Commissioner, things on the actual map may not change much, per recent census data.
“I would anticipate the lines don’t look a tremendous amount different than they do now, but it’ll be determined when they’re finalized,” said Nicolay.