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Assemblyman Sam Hoyt announced last week that he would retire and take a position as senior vice president for regional economic development for the Empire State Development Corporation. Governor Andrew Cuomo called a special election to fill Hoyt’s and several other vacant seats on primary day September 13, a move the permits party leaders to choose their candidates. The Democrats have settled on attorney Sean M. Ryan, a long-time Hoyt supporter, as their candidates. No word from the Republicans. Both the Green Party and one of the region’s Tea Party groups, the Tea Party Coalition of Western New York, are looking for candidates.

• Last week, the Erie County Legislature failed to override Erie County Executive Chris Collins’ veto of the redistricting plan they’d approved. The legislators also failed to pass any other redistricting plan. As a result, both sides of the ruckus filed lawsuits: the Republicans against the Erie County Legislature and its chair, Barbara Miller-Williams, and the Democrats against Erie County. Each suit presents its own argument against the county’s failure to redistrict, and they’re posted on AV Daily at if you’d like to know more. This week, the suits were consolidated into one matter in federal district court. The upshot is that the clock continues to tick, and each tick makes it less likely that the Legislature will achieve a reorganization in time for this year’s election. That would mean that there will be no downsizing from 15 to 11 members, and that current district lines will obtain; a weighted voting system could be instituted to reflect changes in population among districts, as reported in the 2010 Census.

Legislators would have to run again in 2012, once the matter is settled.

• Turns out we’re not getting a new Peace Bridge any time soon. Nor is a massive new plaza for the American side forthcoming. And this paper spilled all that ink, and used all that paper, arguing that our new bridge should be a nice one and the plaza on the American side should be minimized.

And now there’s no money for any of it. Huh. Details on a proposal for a new, smaller plaza renovation are still in the works, according to Ron Rienas, the Public Bridge Authority’s general manager.

geoff kelly

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