Sunday, February 3, 2013

Learn How the Weighted Vote Will Change

Last week, Gossips reported that the new weighted vote numbers would be revealed and discussed at a special Common Council Legal Committee meeting next week. The day and time for that meeting have now been set: Thursday, February 7, at 6:30 p.m. 

The weighted vote affects the voting power your representatives have in the Common Council. To understand why the weighted vote is important, consider this. With the weighted vote as it currently is, an aye vote cast by an alderman from the First Ward or the Fourth Ward (David Marston, Nick Haddad, Sheila Ramsey, or Ohrine Stewart) represents 9 percent of the votes needed for a simple majority, while an aye vote cast by an alderman from the Fifth Ward (Carmine Pierro or Robert Donahue) represents 27.5 percent of the votes needed for a simple majority. Because of population losses and gains between 2000 and 2010, those numbers are changing. To find out how much they're changing, be at the Legal Committee meeting on Thursday. 


  1. If we're to attain balance by reshaping the wards, then residents will have to demand redistricting. Short of demanding it, the current winners of the status quo will simply prevent its being considered.

    Whether redistricting is ultimately the best idea or not, it's fair game to suspect the motives of anyone resisting or preventing the idea right out of the box. To start with, the onus is squarely on resisters to supply an explanation which is untainted by selfishness as to why redistricting shouldn't be seriously considered.

    And what about the alderman who doesn't even live here anymore? If his status is in any doubt, should he really be weighing in on the future and fate of Hudson as a representative of the city's most powerful ward? Does the fact that he's already moved away signal his future allegiance to his own community, and a lessening stake in Hudson?

    Hudson has taught me how difficult it is for enlightened citizens to get their minds around this concept, but mightn't we venture some participatory democracy on a change that's so important to Hudson? If we fail to put redistricting to a vote, then we've left an issue that's crucial to the city's future to interested and/or absentee politicians to decide.

  2. I understand ,that historically,
    there is a sentimental attachment and identity of place
    attached to a specific WARD.

    But times have changed
    since the Wards, as we know them now,were first delineated.

    It is no coincidence that the WARDS
    with the least votes,
    the FIRST and the FOURTH,
    have also had the most demolition of residential buildings
    in Hudson,since original Wards were formed

    1. Prison Alley--What you say about demolition is certainly not true about the First Ward and not especially true about the Fourth Ward either. It's the Second Ward that has seen the greatest amount of demolition, with single-family homes being replaced by buildings that create a much greater population density--Bliss Towers, for example.

      The First Ward, however, probably more than any other, has lost population through gentrification. Many buildings that started out as single-family dwellings but had been converted to multiple family dwellings have gone back to being single-family dwellings in the past two decades.

    2. Nevertheless, if Prison Alley is imprecise about which wards have lost the most architecture, I believe that most voters in Hudson haven't a clue in the world what the weighted vote can mean for such issues.

      Most people are ignorant concerning parliamentary procedures which may one day negatively effect their own interests.

      In my extremely democratic opinion (I realize I'm the odd man out in this place), it's best to instruct residents beforehand about what's about to come down the pike - before the next big change is decided for us, and by the very people who stand to lose the most power.

      Prison Alley is at least considering consequences. Without examples, the whole business is just too abstract for anyone to care.

  3. I am sure everything you are saying is true,
    so I stand corrected.
    I get what you are saying about gentrification.Also,prior to Bliss Towers, 2nd Ward's vote must have been more equal?

    I was referring to old maps of the WARDS.
    What I see in 4th Ward is a massive amounts of parking lots,that takes up full blocks, that used to be buildings.4th has 94 votes each
    to 2nd Ward's 184 each.

    In the 1st Ward, old maps, I am looking at the amount of buildings torn down or lost by fire,compared to today.