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.