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Redistricting commission for Monroe County gears up for hearings

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CITY Magazine
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Monroe County Legislature President Sabrina LaMar

The commission formed to redraw Monroe County Legislature district lines plans to hold six public meetings in April, including one over Zoom.

Dates, times, and exact locations will be set when the commission meets at 1 p.m. March 31.

The five-member Legislative District Revision Commission met Monday and agreed to hold the public input sessions in Ogden, Henrietta, and East Rochester, as well as at the David Gantt R-Center on North Street and Edison Career and Technology High School on Colfax Street.

Late last year, the Legislature approved maps that were controversial not only because of the district lines — critics contended some of the redrawn districts broke the law — but detractors also argued that the maps were drawn behind closed doors with inadequate public input. The committee that drew the maps held three hearings before approving the maps, which County Executive Adam Bello vetoed.

“We’re doubling it this time to make sure we get as much input as possible,” said Legislature President Sabrina Lamar, who chairs the current redistricting commission. The other members include Democratic Minority Leader Yversha Roman, Republican Legislator Robert Colby, Republican Elections Commissioner Lisa Nicolay, and Democratic Elections Commissioner Jackie Ortiz.

The commission also briefly discussed four options for professional services to help draw the maps and present them to the public. The options ranged from a simple software lease to hiring a full-service firm. The latter appeared to be the preferred option, given the complexity of the task and some changes to state law regarding legislative districts.

Ortiz and Nicolay said after the meeting that their current leading choice would provide a feature where residents can look up their new districts by plugging in their addresses on a website.

The commissioners will present their recommendation for a firm at the March 31 meeting, with a vote likely to follow. The Legislature has until June 11 to enact new district maps.

Jeremy Moule is CITY's news editor. He can be reached at: jmoule@rochester-citynews.com.