BATAVIA – The city’s population has slowly declined but those who remain are moving around, forcing a rare change in boundaries for three of the six wards that serve as election districts.
Under the one-man-one vote rule, districts are not permitted to have more than ten percent difference in average population.
It was this same 1964 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that forced Genesee County to give up its 19-member board of supervisors (13 towns, 6 city wards) for a legislature of nine (6 towns and 3 city). Those boundaries are not affected by the required changes in the city’s wards.
The average per ward of 2,578 gives the city a total population of about 15,500. By minor changes in adjacent streets, the population of Ward Two would be reduced from 2,897 to 2,599; Ward Three would increase from 2,288 to 2,580, and Four would be reduced 3,027 to 2,750.
It is only the second time in the city’s 99 year history that the boundaries are being revised. Part of the imbalance is the high number of 2-3 families in one residence.
The revisions now go to a public hearing on May 26, a Council vote on June 9, and the general election in November. The new wards would take effect Jan. 1, 2015.