December 16, 2009

Filling Vacancies

While there is sure to be some level of criticism of the Niagara County Legislature's plan to amend their current method of filling vacancies between elections, the legislature is making the right move with the proposed revision to the law.

Currently, the rules say a person appointed to fill an unexpired term must be a registered member of the same political party as the former legislator. The legislature is proposing to drop that requirement and allow the appointment of anyone who lives in the affected the district.

In this day and age, less registered voters are choosing to affiliate with the two major political parties, and more voters are choosing to go with the Independence Party, the Conservative Party, the Working Families Party or simply opting not to affiliate with any party.

In addition, all too often the public is screaming that politics gets in the way of the decision making process.

The way the current law is written, the legislature is pigeon-holed into the selection that they can make. Opening up the selection process to interested individuals of any political party will greatly improve the pool of candidates from which to choose, and increase the likelihood that the most qualified person will be chosen.

Considering that there have been a fair amount of mid-term vacancies over the past few years, this is a good move that can only benefit the public.


The Avenger said...

I'm in total agreement with that and always felt the old rule seemed unconstitutional. They should formalized a process with a search committee, resume submission period and interviews. There is always going to be politics but that's just the nature of the beast. At the very least, maybe it attracts some new people to process.

rob clark said...

I have to disagree.It should be left the way it is. Only have a non- partisan group of residents select the person/party member to the seat. Take the Majority and the Minority out of it. But keep it so that you must be a member of whatever party the former was a registered member of.