[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven 3-18-1999 by L.L. No. 3-1999, effective 3-24-1999. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Editor's Note: This local law also provided that it would apply to all motions by the Town Board and to all petitions seeking ballot propositions to establish Ward Districts submitted to the Town Clerk on or after the effective date of this law, and that this local law supersedes conflicting provisions of Town Law § 81 in its current form.
The Town Board may upon its own motion and shall, upon a petition, in such form and filed with the Town Clerk as specifically set forth herein, cause to be submitted at a biennial Town election, a proposition to establish a system of Ward Districts for the election of Councilmen/Wardens within the Town of Brookhaven.
Any petition seeking an election proposition to establish Ward Districts shall be submitted to the Town Clerk in the following manner:
The petition shall be subscribed and authenticated by voters registered to vote in the Town of Brookhaven at the time of signature. All witnesses must be registered to vote within the Town of Brookhaven at the time of signature.
The petition shall designate, in writing, the name and mailing address of a contact person.
The number of signatures on the petition must be equal to a least 5% of the total votes cast for Governor in the Town of Brookhaven at the last general election in the Town held for the election of state officers.
All signatures on the petition must be subscribed and authenticated in the manner set forth in the New York State Election Law for the authentication of nominating petitions.
All signatures on the petition submitted to the Town Clerk must be dated at the time of signature; such date shall be no greater than 90 days prior to the filing of the petition with the Clerk.
The proposition contained within the petition or within the Town Board's own motion must set forth clearly to the voters of the Town of Brookhaven a summary of the change proposed. At minimum, the proposition must explain:
That an at-large system exists in the Town which enables every registered voter to elect all members of the Town Board;
That Ward Districts are proposed;
The number of Ward Districts proposed;
That, if approved, voters would vote for one Councilperson/Warden only in their respective ward, rather than each of at-large Councilpersons/Wardens running for election;
That, if approved, the County Board of Elections would establish the Ward Districts.
Written objections to the petition may be submitted to the Town Clerk in the manner and during the time periods set forth in the New York State Election Law for the filing of objections to nominating petitions.
If a determination is made that a petition is insufficient following a review by the Town Clerk and the Town Attorney, the Town Clerk shall give notice of the determination by registered mail to the contact person on the petition. If the determination of insufficiency of the petition is made upon specific objections to the petition, as set forth in the New York State Election Law, the Town Clerk shall also give notice of the determination to the objectors.
Whenever a proposition for the establishment of Ward Districts is adopted, the establishment shall occur in the manner set forth in Town Law § 85 in its current form and as amended.
The procedure for abolishment of Ward Districts shall be as set forth in the Town Law § 85 in its current form and as amended.
[Added 3-29-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012, effective 4-30-2012]
The term "Council District" shall be substituted for and used in place of the term "Ward District" as it may have been used in this chapter and in any other provision of this Code.
[Added 3-29-2012 by L.L. No. 7-2012, effective 4-30-2012]
Based upon information provided in the decennial census of the United States (hereinafter referred to as "the Federal Census"), the established Council Districts shall be reapportioned in the manner set forth in Town Law § 85 in its current form and as amended, and NYS Election Law § 4-100 in its current form and as amended.
Upon certification and publication of the results of the Federal Census which indicate; that the Town's Council Districts contain a deviation in proportionate citizen population as set forth in § 27-7B(2) contained herein, a Redistricting Commission, as established hereunder at Subsection C of this section, shall propose to the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven appropriate revisions to the boundaries of the Town Council Districts so that each district will contain substantially equal citizen populations. Such proposal will be filed with the Town Clerk for consideration by the Town Board as set forth below. Such proposal shall be affirmatively recommended by at least six out of eight votes of the entire Commission membership.
The proposal shall provide, using the Federal Census information and election districts determined by the Board of Elections:
For substantially equal numbers for all citizens in the allocation of representation before the Town of Brookhaven Town Board; and
That Council Districts are to be of convenient and contiguous territory in as compact form as practicable; and
To the extent practicable, hamlets should be contained in the same Council District, and if not practicable, then within the fewest Council Districts possible;
For clear and readily identifiable boundaries for Council Districts such as roads, rivers, streams, railroad tracks, school district boundaries, and others.
No Council District shall deviate more than 5% from the total population of the Town of Brookhaven divided by six, as determined by the Federal Census, referenced above, except in those instances where a deviation of greater than 5% is required to meet the standards of the Voter Rights Act.
The members of the first Redistricting Commission shall be appointed by the Town Board by April 24, 2012, and shall serve until their proposals are filed with the Town Clerk and proposed to the Town Board. Such proposals for the 2013 Town elections must be presented to the Town Clerk by September 15, 2012, and acted upon by the Town Board by December 15, 2012.
Thereafter, appointees to the Redistricting Commission, as above, shall be made by the Town Board within one month of the Town receiving the Federal Census numbers broken down by election districts and such proposals must be presented to the Town Board by September 15 of that year and acted upon by the Town Board by December 15 of that year.
The Town Board may accept or reject the proposals of the Redistricting Commission. If the Town Board rejects such proposals, it must state on the record at a Town Board meeting its reasons for doing so, and make appropriate and necessary revisions to the boundaries of all Council Districts consistent with the provisions of this section of the Town Code (§ 27-7A and B) as well as all applicable federal and state laws, by December 15 of the year the proposals of the Redistricting Commission were submitted.
If by September 15 of the year of their appointment the Redistricting Commission has not submitted its proposals for changes in the boundary of the Council Districts, then the Town Board must, on its own, make appropriate and necessary revisions to the boundaries of all Council Districts consistent with the provisions of this section (§ 27-7 A and B), as well as all applicable federal and state laws, by December 15 of that year.
The Redistricting Commission shall consist of eight voting members. Such members shall be appointed as follows:
Three Commission appointees shall be Democratic party members;
Three Commission appointees shall be Republican party members;
Two Commission appointees shall be at-large, namely, the appointee cannot be a member of either the Democratic or Republican party;
Each major party must appoint at least one Commission member from an established voter's rights or civic organization, and one member from an established minority organization;
All appointments shall be subject to the approval of the Town Board.
The Redistricting Commission members shall be, at the time of their appointment, registered to vote in Suffolk County, be Town of Brookhaven residents, and have not changed party affiliation in the immediately preceding two years, if so affiliated.
The following restrictions shall apply to appointees of the Commission: no appointees shall have held an elected position at any level for three years prior to their appointment; no appointee shall hold a political party position above that of committee person or have held such a position for three years prior to their appointment; and no appointee shall be an immediate family member (as that term is defined in the Brookhaven Town Code § 7A-24) of any current elected or appointed official of the Town of Brookhaven, County of Suffolk, State of New York, federal government or of any village within the Town of Brookhaven, or party leader above the level of committee person.
The members of the Redistricting Commission shall serve without pay or remuneration of any kind.
[Added 12-13-2012 by L.L. No. 36-2012, effective 1-2-2013]
This section is intended to reflect the reapportionment of Council Districts in the Town that occur pursuant to Town Code § 27-7.
As a result of the 2010 Federal Census, the Town Board of the Town of Brookhaven appointed a Redistricting Commission pursuant to Town Code § 27-7, which submitted options to the Town Board.
After review, the Town Board, pursuant to Town Code § 27-7B(5), determined to reject those options as proposed, but adopted proposed Option #1 as amended, to be called “Option #1A,” which met the requirements of federal and state law as well as being in compliance with Town Code § 27-7. A copy of the map reflecting that change in Council Districts is attached hereto and made a part hereof.
Editor’s Note: The map is available in the Town offices.