Following the example of the county, the City of Hudson sought the expertise of mathematician Dr. Lee Papayanopoulos, who offered this advice: "Weighted voting can indeed be implemented in Hudson City. The traditional weighted voting analysis used in reapportioning many New York counties (including Columbia, 1972) is usually applied under circumstances of singular representation. Your present form of local representation deviates from the norm since two councilmen are elected from each ward. This necessitates a modification of the traditional method of analysis."
Hudson went ahead and adopted the weighted vote--and became, in addition to being the only city in the United States to employ the weighted voted, the only municipality requiring a hybrid method of analysis because two aldermen represented each ward. Through a complicated process, incomprehensible to most, Papayanopoulos calculated the weighted vote system for the Hudson Common Council that was adopted in 1975 and has been doing it ever since, most recently in 2013. Unfortunately for Hudson and every other legislative body that relied on him to recalculate the weighted vote after every decennial census, Papayanopoulos died, at the age of 75, in March 2015. His obituary, published by Rutgers University, where he had been a professor in the graduate school since 1974, speaks of his work with "weighted voting reapportionment."
Dr. Papayanopoulos completed his Doctor of Engineering Science in Operations Research degree at Columbia under the supervision of Dr. Edward Ignall. His thesis investigated properties of weighted voting reapportionment, and his fundamental work in this area was the first application of mathematical programming to political science. His interest in this area dated back to 1967 when he worked at IBM when the landmark "one-man-one-vote" decision of the U.S. Supreme Court prompted federal, state and local legislatures to redistrict state and congressional districts. His work has impacted the governance of many localities as well as the representation of millions of voters over a span of nearly half a century.It is not clear if Papayanopoulos had a protege able and willing to take over his consultancy in governance metrics, but we in Hudson have another alternative, the same one that was open to the folks back in 1974: realigning ward boundaries to create population districts of equal size. It's pretty straightforward and easy to understand and requires no high-level mathematical calculations.
For those who want to learn more about the Fair & Equal campaign to achieve the standard of one person, one vote without the arcane machinations of the weighted vote, there is a community conversation tomorrow, August 10, at 6:30 p.m., at Peter Jung Fine Art, 512 Warren Street.
COPYRIGHT 2016 CAROLE OSTERINK