For some time now, as it became apparent that Paul Dyster's Niagara Falls was heading toward substantial population losses, the Falls political class have been haranguing both the civilian redistricting commission and the County Legislature. In fact, the geniuses who make up the Niagara Falls City Council even went so far as to pass a resolution calling on the County Legislature to award the Falls four or more seats, even though both the loss of 10% of their population in one decade and a voter-approved downsizing of the Legislature (that passed overwhelmingly even in the Falls) means Niagara Falls is only legally entitled to a little more than three seats.
Naturally, this brought out some really hilarious moments. Our favorite, though, had to be the rationale offered by Roger Spurback, who is president of the Niagara Falls Block Club Council.
According to Mr. Spurback, Niagara Falls deserves extra seats because—and we are not making this up—“Niagara Falls has problems that other boundaries don’t have. I go to Lewiston and I don’t see buildings falling down, drug dealers taking up residence, prostitutes walking the streets.”
Now, we’ve heard lots of rationales for lots of crazy things over the years. But as an argument for increasing anyone’s representation, that is highly questionable. Giving Niagara Falls extra representation because they've regressed so far would be like giving Libya a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, or trusting Charlie Sheen with a live, free-form show. And yet, we can't make stuff like this up.
You stay classy, Niagara Falls.