The Monroe County Legislature is a parliamentary body representing the citizens of 29 districts in Monroe County, New York. Consistent with the "one man, one vote" doctrine first introduced by the Supreme Court in 1964, legislative districts are drawn according to population, each possessing approximately 25,000 citizens, within a small tolerance. The organization of districts is reviewed every decade in accordance with the most recently released U.S. Census.
This review and revision of districts, commonly referred to as "redistricting," is the responsibility of the Legislature. The last redistricting in Monroe County was done in 2001. In that most recent redistricting round, the new district map was assembled by the Monroe County Board of Elections and approved by the Legislature. However, the Legislature is not bound to this specific method, and can use whatever method the Legislators prefer, provided that the result is an equal number of citizens per district. The new district map is bundled into a bill to be voted on, and if that bill passes the Legislature's approval, it moves on to the County Executive's office to be signed into law.
Elections and Term Limits
The Legislative districts in Monroe County are redistricted outlined in the previous section. The next election after the census (say, 2001, to make the math easy) elects Legislators to a four-year term. In the following election period, 2005, a random lottery is drawn from which 14 districts get picked to have 2-year terms and 15 are picked to have 4-year terms. Those that drew the 2-year term will be elected to a 4-year term in 2007 and those that got 4-year terms will get a 2-year term election in 2009. So, there is a cycle for Legislative districts to cycle between two and four year terms such that they each get 10-year cycles between Census.
Legislators are limited to 10-year terms. However, it is entirely possible that someone could be elected in 2007 to a 4-year term, win another election in 2011 (which is after the Census and therefore a 4-year term), then be in the district that gets a 4-year term for 2015, which would be 12 years total. In this case, the Legislator would forfeit the last two years and have his party select an interim replacement between 2017 and 2019.
Interim Appointments and Party Leaders
By convention (though it is not a rule), should a member of the Legislature leave for any reason before his or her term expires, the remaining members of his party will appoint a new Legislator to fill their position. Once the term of the outgoing member has expired, the appointed member is expected to campaign in the next election, subject to the term limit rules outlined above.
The members of both minority and majority parties each elect a leader to represent them in the Legislature. The majority party elects a Speaker for the entire Legislature.
Districts and Current Members
These maps show the legislative districts in the Monroe County Legislature. The second map shows only the city so that these smaller districts can be seen more clearly.
Note: all Legislator names current as of 4/18/2012
Established on February 23, 1821 from parts of neighboring Genesee and Ontario Counties, the county was named after United States President James Monroe. The first meeting of the 43 member Board of Supervisors took place on May 8, 1821, and the first County Manager was appointed by the Board in 1936. In 1980, the Charter was amended to provide for the direct election of a County Executive for a four-year term beginning in 1984.
In the mid-1960s the Supreme Court to the United States handed down an important decision establishing the “one man-one vote” principle. Based on this historic action, in 1967 the 29-member Monroe County Legislature became this County’s chief lawmaking body, replacing the 43-member Board of Supervisors which had been in existence for 145 years. The Monroe County Charter became effective in 1967 creating the County Legislature.
In 1980, the Charter was amended to provide for the direct election of a County Executive for a four-year term beginning in 1984.