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51  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 27, 2014, 03:00:19 am
And part 2

Quote from: Torie (from e-mail, posted with his permission)
Assume that there is  a sixth vote with no ward assignment elected at
large, who votes randomly. Is there some mathematical formula available the
one could use with respect to the relationship between the percentage of
votes the at large alderman has on the council, and the amount by which the
deviation in the number of votes the other councilmen,while still not
exceeding the 10% Limit? Could the number of council votes each of the five
aldermen have vary *at all* while still staying with the 10% range?
I don't believe that there is a mathematical formula.

Power share does not vary proportionately with voting weight.   As we saw above, we could adjust the weights from (20, 20, 20, 20, 20) to (30, 20, 20, 20, 10) and see no change in voting power, and then suddenly at (31, 20, 20, 20, 9) there was a catastrophic change.

On the other hand, I've noted that by using simple population-based weights, but changing the threshold for success to  something slightly different than 5%+1, that I could get just as good proportionality between population share and voting power, as by changing the voting weights.   I sort of did this in my examples above.  I initially had 100 total votes, so that a majority was 51 or 51%.  In my last example, I used 101 total votes, and a majority of 51, or 50.5%.  And in an unweighted 5-member body, a majority is 3/5 or 60%.

Simple-minded judges won't accept a redefinition of "majority" even if the new percentage is only slightly different and still represents the notion of "bare concurrence:.

But we can trick the judges by adding an extra weighted vote.  Let's say that the at-large member has a 10% voting share.   Then if he joins with district members who have votes representing more than 40% of the total vote, then the motion passes.  A district member who is critical to getting past 40%, is also critical to the combination including the at-large member.

But we could boost the at-large member to 11%, and proportionately reduce the other shares.  The district members now only produce more than 39% of the total.   In the original version they needed 40/90 of the district vote (or 44.4%).  In the second they needed 39/89 (or 43.8%).

We've subtly switched from "majority" which is fixed at 50%+, to "significant district concurrence" which can float.

This currently happens in Hudson, where the President's voting weight varies quite widely between votes for a simple majority, and the 2/3 and 3/4 super-majorities.

Use of an odd number of members, plus a president may have other problems.  Consider an unweighted council.  If the district members vote 2:3, the president can not change the result.  Only if they vote 3:2 can he in effect veto their decision.

If there were an even number of members, he has a casting vote, whether formally or informally.  If the district members vote 3:3 he breaks the tie.  If the district members vote 4:2, then he has no effect.

Quote
You mentioned there is some kind of matrix chart that could be used
(presumably on an excel spreadsheet), that allows one to calculate these
critical vote percentages based on number of council votes assuming random
voting combinations of aldermanic votes? If so, may I have it?

I use Computer Algorithms for Voting Power Analysis, in particular the program lpgenf.

If you set your voting weights in a column, you can copy and paste them directly in the "Weights" box, and be sure to set the correct "quota" or majority.  You can then copy and paste the results from the web page into your spreadsheet using the "Match Destination Formatting" which will simply grab the numbers.

You are most interested in "Swings".   The Normalized Banzhaf Index is the power share among the voting members.   But in Hudson you want to use the power share among the district members, which is each member's swings divided by the total number of swings, excluding those of the president.

Add in a column with population, you can calculate population share and power share, and deviation (power-share / population-share - 1).   All of these are expressed as percentages.  I usually copy the results from the program over to the right side of my spreadsheet, and then copy the swings into a column used for computation.

The spreadsheet that I use is set up specifically for Hudson (11-members).  It brute force generates the 2048 voting combinations, and then counts critical swings, etc.

In either case, using the program or the spreadsheet, iteration is doable, but not automatic.  I could clean up the spreadsheet and send you a copy.

Quote from: Torie (from e-mail, posted with his permission)
In my view, as a legal matter, both (1) the discrepancy between the ward's
percentage of the population of the city and its percentage of the total
number of votes on the council, as compared to any other ward, cannot
exceed by more than 10% absolute number of council votes between the five
individual ward alderman cannot vary from the population in the wards by
more than 2% (so if there were two wards, one with 60% of the population,
and the other with 40% of the population, if there were 100 council votes
to allocate, the vote number for the 60% ward could go no higher than 62.4
votes, with the other no less than 37.6 votes ((2.4/60) +(2.4/40) = 10%),
and (2) the percentage number of critical votes cast given the number of
votes assigned, cannot exceed that 10% deviation amount from population
using the same mathematics as in (1).  In the end, I am wondering just how
much ward populations can vary percentage wise from each other while still
fitting into both 10% tests. It seems to be with single alderman wards the
percentage population variance cannot be much with 5 wards, because the
critical vote percentage amount tends to go up exponentially vis a vis the
council vote percentage, until by the time you hit 50.1%, you are casting
100% of the critical votes, which is about a 100% deviation.
The 10% limit may not be applicable to local governments.  See Abate v Mundt and
Roxbury Taxpayers Alliance v Delaware County Board of Supervisors  In the latter case, the deviation range was 16.79%.

5% of 1280 is 26, which doesn't permit much flexibility when many individual blocks have more than 26 persons.

Nearly equal-population wards can be a problem with weighted voting.   See Cortland County, which has a 17-member legislature where the districts are either combinations of towns, or divisions of the city of Cortland or the town of Cortland.   Each member has a voting weight equivalent to the population they represent.   But the districts are so similar in size, that any combination of 9 members represents a majority of the population (and therefore a majority of the legislative votes), and no combination of 8 members represents a majority.
52  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 27, 2014, 02:58:30 am
Message broken in two to get under size limit.

Quote from: Torie (from e-mail, posted with his permission)
If you had five wards, with five councilmen, with a weighed vote where for
purposes of voting power,  what is the maximum deviation percentage wise in
the number of council votes each have, that would not cause any ward
alderman to become the critical vote 10% more often than another alderman,
assuming random voting (the "10% Limit".
I'm not sure I understand your question.

I think you are asking  something related to this:

Let's start with 5 aldermen with equal weights of 20, which total 100 votes, and a majority of 51 is required.  It still requires 3 aldermen to pass anything, and while a majority of 51 is required, any winning combination will actually have 60 votes.

There are only 25 or 32 combinations of 5 members, including 5:0 and 0:5 unanimous votes.   5! / 3! 2! or 10 combinations will be 3:2 votes.   3 members are critical to each of these 3:2 combinations, making 3 x 10 or 30 vote changes that are critical, with each member the critical change 6 times.   As we would expect, the voting power of each member is 6/30 or 20%.

Now let's change the weights some.   A 29, B 20, C 20, D 20, E 11; Total = 50, majority = 51.   The voting weight for A is now 45% larger than the average, and a combination of (A,B,C) will have 69 votes, while a combination of (C,E,F) will have 51 votes,

Nonetheless, it still requires 3 members to pass any resolution since the strongest pair (A,B) only has 49 votes, and any 3-member combination will succeed since the weakest triplet (C,D,E) has 51 votes.  The voting power of each member is still 6/30 or 20%.  If the voting weights were proportional to population (eg District A has 29% of the population, while District E only has 11%), then there is a large discrepancy between population and voting power.

To actually change the voting dynamics, we need to make some 2-member combinations succeed, or equivalently require four-member combinations fail.   So let's tweak the weights to A 31, B 20, C 20, D 20, and E 9.  Now any two-member combination of A and any of B, C, or D succeeds, and a combination of E and two of (B,C,D) fails.

Suddenly, A is critical to 12 combinations.  It is critical not only to (A,B), (A,C,), and (A,D), but also to any of the 6 3-member combinations it is a member of (If A leaves (A,B,E) it fails), and the 3 four-member combinations that include A,E, and 2 of B,C,D.

B, C, and D are each critical two 4 combinations.  B is critical to (A,B), (A,B,E), (B,C,D), and (B,C,D,E).

E is critical to zero combinations.  There are no combinations, where it would pay off to get E to switch his vote, whether through convincing arguments, cajoling, bribery, or coercion.  E has no voting power.

There are 24 critical changes, A is critical 12 of them or 50%, while B, C or D are each the critical  vote 4 times or 17%.   E is critical 0% of the time.  This clearly is not acceptable.

So let's try (A,B,C,D,E) = (29, 22, 20, 18, 11)

Critical swings are now (8,8,4,4,4) or on a percentage basis: A 29% (on target); B 29% (way overpowered); C and D, 14% each and underpowered; and E 14% also overpowered.

The best I can come up with is (A,B,C,D,E) = (30, 21, 21, 21, 10) .  Critical swings are (9, 5, 5, 5, and 3) for a total of 27,  Power shares are (33%, 19%, 19%, 19%, 11%).   If the populations shares were 29%, 20%, 20%, 20%,and 9% this is not too bad, though the relative error for A is 15%, and for B, C, and D it -7%, and E 1%.  The deviation range is 22% which is pushing what a court might accept.

Problems with weighted voting and small bodies include few voting combinations, and few critical combinations.  In our example, there were only 32 combinations and somewhat fewer critical changes.   With 27 critical swings total, each represents 3.7% power share, which is quite coarse in terms of resolution.   And where we had 3 districts with the same population (and it wouldn't really matter if they had populations of say 1538, 1511, and 1487), many of the combinations are equivalent (A,B), (A,C), and (A,D) for example are equivalent in their population share, number of members, and relative voting strength between the members.  There are only 16 non-equivalent sets of combinations:

Empty set.
(A), (X), (E)
(AX), (AE), (XX), (XE)
(AXX), (AXE) (XXX), (XXE)
(AXXX), (AXXE), (XXXE)
(AXXXE)

Here X represents any one of B, C, or D; with no duplicates within a combination.

I didn't answer your question, but I think you may be able to re-ask it now.
53  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 25, 2014, 09:53:50 pm
Inconsistencies.   If inconsistent with the charter, it is highlighted in red. 

I have not found online voting rolls.  It is possible that voting is inconsistent throughout an area, such as the two houses on Harry Howard which vote in Ward 4, but for all other purposes are considered part of Ward 5.  One clerk might consult the CBOE map, while another uses the tax rolls, or checks where neighbors are placed.

South Front Street:

Charter: Ward 1
VTD: 1-2-4
CBOE map: Ward 1
Voting: Ward 1 (should have S Front St addresses)
2000 weight: Ward 1
2010 weight: Ward 1
Tax roll: Ward 2 (but Hudson Terrace is a single property with a 15 N Front St address)

North Front Street:

Charter: Ward 2
VTD: 1-2-4
CBOE map: Ward 2
Voting: Ward 2 (should have N Front St or State St addresses)
2000 weight: Ward 2
2010 weight Ward 1 and Ward 2 (allocation error)
Tax roll: Ward 2

5th Street Notch (areas west of 5th Street that sometimes are treated as being in Ward 5: including houses South of Harry Howard and north of Underhill Pond; (Clinton)-Harry Howard-Washington-5th pseudo-block; Washington-Short-Prospect-5th block; 496 and 498 Clinton.

Charter: Ward 4
VTD: 5
CBOE map: Ward 5
Voting: Ward 4
2000 weight: Ward 4
2010 weight: Ward 5
Tax roll: Ward 4

Crosswind Apartments 100 Harry Howard

Charter: Ward 5
VTD: 5
CBOE map: Ward 5
Voting: Ward 4
2000 weight: Not built, but Ward 5.
2010 weight: Ward 5
Tax roll: Ward 5

Harry Howard outliers 106 and 120 Harry Howard

Charter: Ward 5
VTD: 5
CBOE map: Ward 5
Voting: Ward 4
2000 weight: Ward 5
2010 weight: Ward 5
Tax roll: Ward 5

Columbia Triangle: Bounded by Columbia Street, Paul Avenue, Columbia Turnpike.

Charter: Ward 5
VTD: 3
CBOE map: Ward 3
Voting: Ward 3
2000 weight: Ward 5
2010 weight: Ward 3
Tax roll: Ward 5
54  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 25, 2014, 09:12:55 pm
In the 4th ward's portion of block 12-1012 (that is the block number on the spreadsheet that you sent me), there are 29 units. 29/46 x 103 = 64.93.  29/89 x 200 = 65.17.  65 is the number. We are done. It's been fun. Smiley


Based on Tax Records:

6 Harry Howard (1)
4 Harry Howard (3)
2 Harry Howard (on tax rows as "Det Row Bldg")
(Harry Howard starts at Washington).

The following are in 12-4000, south of Washington

84-90 Short (1)
80 Short (1)
442-444 Prospect (1)
77-79 N 5th (Apt)
81-83 N 5th (Apt)
87 N 5th (Apt)
89-93 N 5th (1)

Going north of Washington, so back in 12-1012

101 N 5th (1)
103 N 5th (1)
107-109 N 5th (1)
111-113 N 5th (1)
115-199 N 5th (2)

So we match your picture to here.

496 Clinton (2) This is an extra unit.
498 Clinton (1)

Everything up to here is on the tax rolls as 4th Ward.

500 Clinton (2) This is the house north of 5th.  On the tax rolls it is in the 5th ward.

Based on the principal of not taxation with representation, these persons should vote in the 5th ward.

502 (2), 510(2), 512(1), 516-518(1), 520(1), 522(1), 528(1), 530(1), 534 (1), 548(1).

So 14 units on the 5th ward portion of Clinton.

123 N 6th (1) This is on the corner of 6th and Clinton.
131 N 6th (1)
135 N 6th (1)

Summary for 12-1012

43 Units Crosswinds Apt
17 Units South of Harry Howard, north of Underhill Pond
10 Units in (Clinton)-Harry Howard-Washington-5th Pseudo Block, 4 on HH, 6 on 5th.
3   Units on Clinton west of 5th (on Tax Rolls as being in 4th Ward)
14 Units on Clinton at or east of 5th (on Tax Rolls as being in 5th Ward)
3   Units on 6th Street north of Clinton.

90 Total units (vs census 89).   I say we go with 90 for allocation.

If we don't differentiate the Crosswind Apartments.

Ward 4: 30 units
Ward 5: 60 Units

Total Population 200

Ward 4: 67 persons
Ward 5: 133 persons


If we do differentiate the Crosswind Apartments

Then based on 12-1011 (59 persons in 27 units) we can estimate 94 persons in the 46 units in 12-1012 portion of Crosswinds.

This leaves 106 persons in the remainder of 12-1012.

Ward 4: 30 units.
Ward 5: 17 units.

Population of 106:

Ward 4: 68 persons.
Ward 5: 38 persons (134 with Crosswinds)


So it really doesn't make a difference.

The houses in Columbia Triangle, on the south side of Columbia Street, west side of Paul Avenue, and north side of Columbia Turnpike are all listed in the Tax Rolls as 5th ward.

So all the areas on the east part of town that were shifted relative to the charter, are in the correct wards in the Tax Rolls.

55  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 25, 2014, 05:49:14 pm
New York state did not participate in delineating VTD's for the 1980 Census (when they were called election districts).  They did participate in 1990, by which time the VTD name had been adopted.

The 1990 Census was the first in which Census Blocks were defined for the entire country, and there would have been a requirement that VTDs be comprised of whole blocks.  The VTDs in Hudson have not changed since 1990, so somewhere maps were exchanged and the VTD boundaries changed.

I noticed on the image of the Columbia Triangle, that the tip census block is the traffic island between Columbia Street, Columbia Turnpike, and Prospect Avenue.  It nonetheless has a population of 1.   It also has a housing unit count of 1.   Perhaps the Census Bureau does not require a physical structure for a housing unit, or it could be shopping cart, tent, or backpack.

This is somewhat different from the block northwest of 2nd and State Street, north of the public housing tower.  There the census bureau had counted 0 persons, but LATFOR added 1.  LATFOR got the last address of prisoners prior to their incarceration from Department of Corrections records. They then used a commercial service to convert addresses to coordinate locations (lat/long), and then to census blocks.

If a prisoner did not have a last address, or it was out of state, or it could not be located, he was simply removed from the census count for the prison location.

56  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 25, 2014, 04:02:17 pm
The red roof structure isn't a house.
It is a 2-story garage for 68 Harry Howard?

The three houses before the corner are 44, 46, 48 Harry Howard
50, 52, 56 are skipped, then
56, 58, 60, 62, and the two unit is 64-66, then
68, 70, 72, 74, 76, 78
and then 82-84 which is single family (but looks like it may have been converted at some time in the past).
and then the last unit is 86 Harry Howard

Crosswinds is 100 Harry Howard.

The tax rolls have the Harry Howard houses in the 4th Ward, and Crosswinds and 106 Harry Howard and 120 Harry Howard in the 5th ward.   So at least in this area, the tax rolls are correct.
57  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 25, 2014, 09:59:33 am
In the 4th ward's portion of block 12-1012 (that is the block number on the spreadsheet that you sent me), there are 29 units. 29/46 x 103 = 64.93.  29/89 x 200 = 65.17.  65 is the number. We are done. It's been fun. Smiley


I count 18 units north of Underhill Pond.

13 units facing north with light colored roofs, including one "2".
1 red roof set back from road.
1 gray with light colored box, with mark in driveway to its west.
1 unit on corner
2 units facing west



For the pseudo block 12? units.

4 units on Short Street, but how do we know that the large structure has 3 units.  The real estate annotation is two.   What is the nature of the structure on the northeast corner of Washington and Short?  Could the Census Bureau have considered it to be a housing unit even if it much of the building is commercial?

6 units on 5th Street.

2 units on Clinton, west of the center line of 5th street (extended).

1 unit on Clinton divided by center line of 5th street (extended)



For completeness the remaining portion of the census block (eastward on Clinton and around the corner on 6th) needs to be inventoried.
58  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 25, 2014, 09:19:48 am
Yes, if someone files a lawsuit, the weights would have to be changed pending the next election (which will take a lot of time and some money (they won't just accept your numbers), resulting very probably in no change in any council vote outcome. That won't happen. It's all sound and fury signifying nothing. And if the Firemens' Home is not split, and there is a close election, because the nursing home folks (some of them), voted in the wrong ward, then there will be a lawsuit. Yes, if the lines could be changed without referendum, they should be, but alas the Council on its own cannot change them. Again, on this matter, the city is trapped. What needs to be done is get all of this on the ballot for the next election, probably via the petition route. Then everything can be fixed.  Stay tuned.
The Common Council has an affirmative obligation to follow the city charter, state law, and US Constitution.

The current plan violates the New York Municipal Home Law.

"i.)  The  plan  shall  provide substantially equal weight for all the voters of that local government in the allocation of  representation  in  the local legislative body."

"(c.)  As  used  in  this subparagraph the term "population" shall mean
  residents, citizens, or registered voters. A population base for such  a
  plan  of  apportionment shall utilize the latest statistical information
  obtainable from an official enumeration done at the same  time  for  all
  the  residents,  citizens, or registered voters of the local government.
  Such a plan may allocate, by extrapolation or any other rational method,
  such latest statistical information to representation areas or units  of
  local  government, provided that any plan containing such an allocation
  shall have annexed thereto as an appendix, a detailed explanation of the
  allocation.
"

The Common Council will avoid any lawsuit about the Firemen's Home by declaring that for electoral purposes that it is entirely west of the projected ward boundary.

Do any current registrations for the residents of the Firemen's Home contain a room number?

You have studiously avoided the issue of the two houses on Clinton, that are north of the end of 5th Street.  Or are you still trying to determine which point in these houses that the inhabitants reside in?  Remember, that you have to provide both a current location, and a location on April 1, 2010.   If a resident of a split house were to be elected alderman, would he have to resign whenever he eats in the kitchen.   Are you going to dock his salary whenever he goes to the bathroom in another ward within his house?

Torie's standard is arbitrary and capricious and denies equal protection to the residents of the Firemen's Home and the two houses on Clinton.  It also is in violation of the 26th Amendment.

The City of Hudson may resolve ambiguity in the charter by passing a resolution.   It does not change the ward boundaries by declaring that the Firemen's Home is west of the boundary.

Should I send my spreadsheet with the revised voting weights to you or to the city directly?
59  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 25, 2014, 12:56:13 am
If we use your estimated ward populations (in your spreadsheet), but reverse your division of the Firemen's home

Ward 1: 593
Ward 2: 1471
Ward 3: 1076
Ward 4: 787
Ward 5: 2476

And use the following weights:

Ward 1: 95, 95
Ward 2: 211, 211
Ward 3: 155, 155
Ward 4: 113, 113
Ward 5: 356, 356
President 190

We get better results:


Ward            Vote    Swing R.Pop.  R.Pow    Dev.  
Ward 1            91     106   9.26%   9.45%   2.01%
Ward 1            91     106
Ward 2           211     258  22.97%  22.99%   0.09%
Ward 2           211     258
Ward 3           155     182  16.80%  16.22%  -3.47%
Ward 3           155     182
Ward 4           113     134  12.29%  11.94%  -2.83%
Ward 4           113     134
Ward 5           356     442  38.67%  39.39%   1.87%
Ward 5           356     442
President        190     202
Majority 1026


Range of Deviation 5.48%
Maximum Absolute Deviation 3.47%
Standard Deviation 2.30%
Weighted Standard Deviation (RMS) 2.18%

Than with the current weights and erroneous population.


Ward            Vote    Swing R.Pop.  R.Pow    Dev.  
Ward 1            95     128  12.03%  11.51%  -4.28%
Ward 1            95     128
Ward 2           185     228  20.01%  20.50%   2.49%
Ward 2           185     228
Ward 3           180     196  17.84%  17.63%  -1.17%
Ward 3           180     196
Ward 4            95     128  11.32%  11.51%   1.66%
Ward 4            95     128
Ward 5           364     432  38.81%  38.85%   0.10%
Ward 5           364     432
President        190     260
Majority 1015


Range of Deviation 6.77%
Maximum Absolute Deviation 4.28%
Standard Deviation 2.38%
Weighted Standard Deviation (RMS) 2.00%

As an added benefit, the President's share of critical votes is much closer to the 1/11 that he would have under an equal-population, unweighted system.
60  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 11:53:02 pm
Oh, as the Firemens' Home, sure a couple of bedrooms might be split. Flip a coin.
Arbitrary and capricious and violates right to privacy.   Maybe Hudson could force the building to be demolished because it interferes with their mathematically perfect line.

I understand that the weights can be fixed as best they can (probably still not legal for complex issues but yes, as best they can, hiring a consultant at some expense to do it all). But that just affects Council Vote weights, not voters voting.
An equal protection claim is based on a voter having an equal opportunity to affect legislation.

If you had a 5 equal-population districts, but then discovered that one of them actually had 25% of the population, it is an equal protection violation, even if redrawing the districts would not change any outcome.   A court might defer a remedy, if there was not enough time to make the change, or other possible consequences such as voter confusion.

If you have a weighted voting scheme, and one ward had its voting weight set based on the assumption that it had 20% of the population, but then discovered that it actually had 25% of the population, it is an equal protection violation, even if correcting the weights would not change any outcome.   But in this case, there is less reason to defer any remedy.  No voter is going to be confused by by the change in the weight, and it can even be done between elections.

Quote
So unless the wrong weights affect a Council vote outcome, they are irrelevant. I doubt that they will ever be relevant in the next year given the local politics. Sure if the referendum fails (yes, not necessary for changing the weights, but apparently necessary for changing the lines, and therein is the rub), the weights will need to be corrected ASAP.
Judge Jim grants summary judgement to the plaintiffs.   Given that the voters of Ward 2 are the most harmed, we even have a VRA violation.  Hudson should be lassoed in under Section 3.

Quote
If not, the system will become even more legally vulnerable, and the city would be risking that the court will not bother with just ordering a narrow fix, and not interested given the attitude in struggling to find the system, and the assumption that aldermen from the same ward vote randomly vis a vis each other is tolerable, or otherwise not caring about the Banzhaf issue, considering it legally dead (it isn't, it just isn't a panacea anymore); rather the court would just throw up its hands,  just toss the whole thing out. So it may become potentially relevant, but not now in my view. The city can't afford to spend money on this, and should not.
The city can not win an equal protection case; and a VRA claim would be harmful to Hudson's reputation.   They would be wise to be pro-active.

If the erroneous population numbers are the responsibility of Dr.Papa+, he is likely responsible to correct them free of charge.  The cost of calculating new weights is much cheaper than developing a new plan, and holding a referendum on it.

Judge Jim rules that the population error is an equal-protection violation, and there is no reason to address the other claims.  A federal court would have no reason to undermine the wishes of the people when they rejected equal-population districts at a referendum.   So it would order new weights, and order Hudson to pay the cost.
61  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 10:58:25 pm
If there were a unit count for Tradewinds inside and Tradewinds outside the loop, we could estimate the Tradewinds population outside the loop, and subtract that from the 200 persons in 12-1012.   Then the Ward 4/Ward 5 split of the remainder could be estimated based on number of houses.
Is the 70 units for Tradewinds in the newspaper article gospel?

If so, there are 27 units in 12-1011 (per census), and 43 in 12-1012.   We can project from 59 persons in 12-1011 to get a population outside the loop.  27:43 :: 59:94.

This would give 200 - 94 = 106 persons elsewhere in 12-1011.

The housing split between Wards 4 and 5 is 25.5:12.5, which would put about 70 persons in Ward 4.

The 4th ward part of 12-1012 has about 27 units, and if the number of Crosswinds units in 12-1012 is 43 units, that totals to 70 units. How many units are in 12-1012 per the census, and could you link to me that data?

Anyway, 27/70 = 38.57%, and 38.57% of 106 = 41 persons in Ward 4's portion of 12-1012.
89 in 12-1012.   If we subtract the 43 units in Crosswinds, that leaves 46.   I count about 38.   I would think that the most likely to be multi-family would be some in the pseudo-block.   The houses on the south side of Harry Howard are fairly small, and those along Clinton aren't particularly large.

46/89 = 51.69%. 51.69% x 106 = 54.78.  So is that the number we are back to?
46 is the number of housing units excluding Crosswinds.
89 is the number of housing units total.
106 is population excluding Crosswinds (based on the same population per household as 12-1011.
200 is total population.

46/89 x 200 would give a population estimate outside Crosswinds is 103.   94 + 103 is 197 so 3 persons disappeared.   The reason is that the persons per housing unit for Crosswinds (at least the inner part) is 2.19, while the persons per housing unit for 12-1012 is 2.24, even though about half the housing units are in Crosswinds.   Assuming the two parts of Crosswinds have the same household size, then the household size for the area outside Crosswinds is 2.30.

To allocate the non-Tradewinds part of 12-1011, you really need the number of housing units in both parts, and they must total 46.   You can't just count those in Ward 4.

I can find 42:

2 on 6th Street north of Clinton (Ward 5)
15 on north side of Clinton.
  12 to east of 5th Street (Ward 5)
  2 north of end of 5th Street (Ward 4 or Ward 5?)
  1 to west of 5th Street (Ward 4)
5 west side of 5th Street (Ward 4)
0 on north side of Washington.
4 on east side of Short/Harry Howard (Ward 4).
Underhill Pond
16 on south side of Harry Howard (including two before turning corner) (Ward 4)

Where are the other 4 housing units?   The second house/building north of Washington on Harry Howard is extremely long, and has a huge parking lot.  If it were in Texas it could be a Baptist or independent church.

A couple of houses on 5th Street are huge, and could easily be subdivided.  A problem in the NE is that double deckers can be split vertically, so that they don't look like duplexes.  It is possible that there are garage houses, with some detached garages set way back.  Do you have access to voter rolls organized by street address? 

46 Housing units: 106 population
14 HU: 32.26 (Ward 5)
2 HU: 4.60 (Ward 4 or Ward 5)
26 HU: 59.91 (Ward 5)
4 HU: 9.22 (unkknown).

Ward 5 (minimum) 32.
Ward 5 (maximum, both 5th street houses and 4 missing) 46
Ward 4 (minimum) 60
Ward 4 (maximum) 74.

This can be improved on if you can find the 4 missing HU, or Solomon-Torie adjudicates the location of the two houses on the end of 5th Street at Clinton.

A reasonable argument could be made that we should not do specific allocations such as when we assumed that the two sections of Crosswinds are comparable.  Because that opens up questions of housing size, and whether there are childrens toys, etc.  A simple method based on housing units in the block may be the best (with the exception of when there is an identifiable group quarters population).

Of course we are only demonstrating the approximate magnitude of error.  I would expect the City of Hudson to make their own allocations, and document their methodology.
62  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 08:27:17 pm
As to who knew what when, that is something I am trying to avoid exploring. I think I have an idea based on various chats.   What is important is fixing it all. Look to the future, not trawling the past. That serves no useful purpose, and in the end, none of it was done really with some evil political agenda in mind (I suspect the bisecting of the new location of the Firemens' home in particular freaked some folks out that were involved). This issue will most probably be going to referendum (I already drew what I think is a sensible map), and if that fails, litigation. There is no going back. The genie is out of the bottle, in substantial part to yes, you Jim, you trouble maker you.  Smiley

Oh, yes, Crosswinds does indeed have 70 apartments.
I don't suggest malevolence.  There are a number of points of carelessness.

The City of Hudson has failed to provide detailed information about the allocation of the split blocks.   That is an explicit requirement of state law.  If they had provided the details of the allocation of the Front Street block, it might have been caught.  We don't know for sure that is the source of error.  They could have got Front Street correct, but then added some blocks north of Warren to Ward 1.  It is quite possible that the mistake was because of someone unwilling to believe that Ward 1 had so little population.   4 aldermen could be apportioned to Ward 5, and one each to Wards 1 and Ward 4, and Ward 1 would still be overrepresented.

The big error is the Front Street block.  I had at one time figured that they had simply flipped the two wards.  But when I tried to reproduce my reasoning, they ended up being way off.  At that point, I was convinced I was doing something really stupid, but couldn't find it.

I just had a thought.   What if someone had started to create an equal-population map.  A logical change would have been to move the entirety (or most) of the Front Street block into Ward 1.  Ward 2 with a corrected population has more than 1/5 of the population.   Taking the Front Street block avoids directly crossing Warren, reduces the expansion of Ward 1 to the east, and avoids having to expand Ward 4 to the west.  But then they tried to back it out, but forgot the Front Street block.  This would indicate a mild level of culpability since they weren't doing what they had a direct reason for doing.

The other mistakes are not so obvious.   You might recall that we originally told you that the populations of Ward 3 and Ward 5 exactly matched the population of VTD 3 and VTD 5, but that they had to split VTD 1-2-4 to because it represented the composite of three wards.  It was only when I started checking the 2002 numbers, that I realized that previously there had been a quite reasonable allocation of Front Street then, but that VTD 3 and VTD 5 were not coincidental with Wards 3 and Wards 5, and that the 2002 allocation had adhered to the charter.

Anyhow, I'm not seeking an admission of culpability or fault, simply an acknowledgement of fact.  Then the obvious thing to do is simply generate a new set of voting weights based on the actual populations of the wards.   This does not require a referendum, and could be in place for the 2015 city elections.

Certainly correcting the voting rolls for 2015 is feasible.

That leaves the Firemen's Home and the two houses north of 5th Street on Clinton.  You can not reduce a place of residency to a point.  Are you going to start sawing people in half Solomon-Torie?  It is quite rational to interpret a building that is divided by a line to be one side or the other of that line for electoral purposes.

This has no effect on whether or not Hudson switches to equal-population wards, or whether power-based weighted voting is unconstitutional in general or in the particular case of Hudson.
63  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 06:56:02 pm
If there were a unit count for Tradewinds inside and Tradewinds outside the loop, we could estimate the Tradewinds population outside the loop, and subtract that from the 200 persons in 12-1012.   Then the Ward 4/Ward 5 split of the remainder could be estimated based on number of houses.
Is the 70 units for Tradewinds in the newspaper article gospel?

If so, there are 27 units in 12-1011 (per census), and 43 in 12-1012.   We can project from 59 persons in 12-1011 to get a population outside the loop.  27:43 :: 59:94.

This would give 200 - 94 = 106 persons elsewhere in 12-1011.

The housing split between Wards 4 and 5 is 25.5:12.5, which would put about 70 persons in Ward 4.

The 4th ward part of 12-1012 has about 27 units, and if the number of Crosswinds units in 12-1012 is 43 units, that totals to 70 units. How many units are in 12-1012 per the census, and could you link to me that data?

Anyway, 27/70 = 38.57%, and 38.57% of 106 = 41 persons in Ward 4's portion of 12-1012.
89 in 12-1012.   If we subtract the 43 units in Crosswinds, that leaves 46.   I count about 38.   I would think that the most likely to be multi-family would be some in the pseudo-block.   The houses on the south side of Harry Howard are fairly small, and those along Clinton aren't particularly large.
64  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 06:48:31 pm
Boundary lines can only be changed by referendum. The city is "trapped" for the moment vis a vis the next election with the ward lines specified by the charter.
I don't know that this is true.   A referendum is required if there is a structural change, such as changing the size of the council, or doing away with the popular election of the mayor.   Switching to equal-population districts required a change in how council decisions were made, since a majority was being redefined to be 6 of 11 members.

But a referendum was not required to change the voting weights to reflect population change.  In that case, the city was simply reapportioning political power, similar to changing ward boundaries.   In this case a referendum by initiative is permissible.

But, there is a specific requirement than when a city changes ward or other district lines, that are used for electing members to a county board of supervisors, then a referendum is mandatory.   The fact that this case is specifically subject to referendum, implies that other cases are not.   Since Hudson's wards are used for election to the Columbia Board of Supervisors, then Hudson is subject to a mandatory referendum.

A problem with power-based weighting vs. population-based weighting is that changing the relative populations of the Hudson wards, may require readjustment of the voting weights of all the towns as well as the Hudson wards.  This may be particularly true because four of Hudson's wards have fewer persons than every town in Columbia County (Taghkanic has 1313 persons).

There is joint responsibility for conduct of elections in Hudson.  Hudson is responsible for seeing that its charter is conformed with, and the Columbia County Board of Elections is responsible for executing elections in conformance with the city charter.

The City of Hudson is (or should be) aware that the elections have not been conducted according to its charter, and should inform the CBOE of this, as well as giving details.

At the same time, it should recognize the ambiguities in its charter.   A person does not reside a specific point within their residence.  You move about during the day, sometimes even in the yard.  It would be absurd to ask which bedroom someone slept in, or how often they fell asleep before the TV, and whether and when did they move to the bedroom, or whether they cooked their meals, or had it delivered, or went out to eat.  Even if someone is confined to their bed for 22 hours a day in a nursing facility, does not mean you can dictate that they reside at that point.  It would be a violation of equal protection to treat them differently than other persons.  Just because someone may be physically incapable of exercising their liberty, does not empower the state to take it.

Therefore, the City of Hudson, not only may, but must, provide an interpretation of its charter.  In particular, it should determine that all residents of the Firemen's Home reside in Ward 4, and should also provide an interpretation for the two Houses on Clinton that are north of 5th Street, and can not be said to live east or west of it.

The city attorney has been charged with writing a legal opinion on the legality of the weighted vote, and I will be, and other legal players are in the wings. It is all happening now rather rapidly. You see how much trouble you've caused Jim?  Tongue

Is the City of Hudson in compliance with this provision of New York's Municipal Home Rule Law (MHR), Section 10.1.a.13.c?

(c.)  As  used  in  this subparagraph the term "population" shall mean
  residents, citizens, or registered voters. For such purposes, no  person
  shall  be deemed to have gained or lost a residence, or to have become a
  resident of a local government,  as  defined  in  subdivision  eight  of
  section  two  of  this  chapter,  by  reason  of  being  subject  to the
  jurisdiction of the department of corrections and community  supervision
  and   present   in  a  state  correctional  facility  pursuant  to  such
  jurisdiction. A population base for such a plan of  apportionment  shall
  utilize  the  latest statistical information obtainable from an official
  enumeration done at the same time for all the  residents,  citizens,  or
  registered  voters of the local government. Such a plan may allocate, by
  extrapolation or any other  rational  method,  such  latest  statistical
  information  to  representation  areas  or  units  of  local government,
  provided that any plan containing such an allocation shall have  annexed
  thereto as an appendix, a detailed explanation of the allocation.

Note that the prisoner-adjustment clause was added in 2011, but this subparagraph existed before this.  Hudson is not exclusively using data from the 2010 Census (including the LATFOR prisoner adjustment).  They are making an extrapolation from that data, and additional information.  But they have not annexed a detailed explanation of the allocation.  If they had, someone might have caught the Front Street mistake, or we could at least explain where they had gone wrong.

Even if power-weighted voting is lawful, has the City of Hudson implemented its current plan in a lawful manner?

'Roxbury Taxpayers Alliance' v. Delaware County Board of Supervisors' is an interesting case.  Delaware County (NY) used power-based voting weights for election to their board of supervisors.  It was determined that only persons whose representation-share was less than their population-share had standing.   This is based on cases for equal-population districts where only persons in overpopulated districts have standing.

In the case of Hudson and its current weights, only residents of Ward 5 and Ward 1 would have standing (ignoring the erroneous population base for now).  In general, particularly for small bodies, it will be the most populous districts whose voting weight share will be reduced below its population share.  Ward 1 is somewhat of a quirk, since it and Ward 4 have the same voting weights.  With a small number of representatives a "best" fit may not be a good fit.

After determining who had standing, the court compared the voting-weight shares to population shares, and determined that they were within safe harbor limits, and dismissed the case.  This was even though the intent of using power-based weighting was to overcome some perceived defect in population-based weighting.   That is, the voting weights were deliberately not proportional to population.  In effect, Delaware deliberately violated equal protection, but the court decided it hadn't been severe enough.

There could conceivably be an issue of whether there is a safe harbor when a more proportional result could be achieved.  In the case of weighted voting, you can get an exact match by simply using the population as the voting weights.

Delaware County has since abandoned power-based weighting, and their voting weights are simply the population divided by 10 (and rounded).

In Hudson, the voting-weight share deviates further from population share.  Ward 1 is 14.13% underrepresented.   It is a quirk that Wards 1 and Wards 4 are underrepresented in their voting share.  I think it is probably related to the fact that Ward 5 and any other ward represent a majority of the population.  The majority for Wards 5+1 or 5+4 is a bare majority, but a majority nonetheless, while Wards 5+2 or 5+3 are close to 60% majorities - there is a lot of waste.
To block Ward 5, all four other wards would have to vote together.

In effect, Ward 1 and Ward 4 are as powerful as Wards 2 and 3 when population-based weighting is used.   So Ward 1 and Ward 4 have their voting weights reduced such that their power is not as great.
65  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 01:18:35 pm
Dr.Papayanopoulos was paid $1500.00 in November 2002.

I would surmise from this that the order of events was:

(1) Spring 2002: City council resolution on ward populations for 2000 Census based on ward boundaries in charter.  The resolution specifies that it was to be used for generating the weights, and also noted the issue with the Firemen's Home.

(2) Summer-Fall 2002, Papayanopoulos develops weights, presumably based on resolution populations.

(3) November 2002, Lee Papayanopoulos is paid.

(4) December 2002 through Spring 2003, equal-population proposal is advanced.

Question: Who drew this map?  It was clearly aware of the problem of splitting census blocks.

(5) Spring 2003, council approves equal-population wards.  Under state law, this is subject to a mandatory referendum.

(6) November referendum fails.

(7) Spring 2004, new weights are implemented.

Presumably, the weights were sitting on the shelf since the 2002 Papayanopoulos report.
66  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 07:40:10 am
From Legal Committee, January 25, 2012 report:

"7. Census ramifications and prisoner counts were discussed. Moore spoke with Mayor Hallenbeck who is investigating coordination with the county to share work and expenses. The last prisoner census was taken in 1998. It can be done every 10 years."

This suggests the possibility that Columbia County may have been responsible for calculating the ward populations.   The population for the towns is trivial (LATFOR produced prison-adjusted numbers for all census geography).  But the wards are more complicated.  This would have led to assuming that VTD 3 and VTD 5 were identical to Ward 3 and Ward 5.

The split of the Great Northern block is pretty reasonable.  Someone then goobered the Front Street block.

From Legal Committee, August 22, 2012 report:

"The eighth and final order of business was a discussion of the status of the redistricting the City must accomplish in the wake of the 2010 Census. The Chair reported that there was some question as to the constitutionality of a weighted vote given that one ward (5th) would have greater than 40% of the that weighted vote as a result of the initial calculations. Alderman Pierro registered his discontent with the issue being raised at all, stating that a “weighted vote is a weighted vote.” The Chair responded that, in his view, at some point such a disparity among the wards would result in a vitiating of low-weight ward’s (s’) votes in some cases. The Chair reported that he had had a conversation with President Moore wherein the latter indicated that he’d sent a letter to the State Attorney General’s office seeking its opinion in light of a recent law review article on point. The conversation was tabled until the opinion could be received and reviewed."

The letter from Moore and any response from the AG should be public record.   The letter must specify the particular law review article. 

Is John Friedman related to the Hofstra law student ___ Friedman who was one of the author's of the report?

The February 13, 2013 Legal Committee discussed the Dr. Papa+ report, and decided to make no recommendation  as to weighting.   Was Dr.Papa+ provided the ward populations, or did he calculate them as part of his contract?

Incidentally, the original blog post that started this thread had an 1873 map showing the then four wards.  The link to Harry Howard was from Mill Street, and there was no road west of Underhill Pond, then known a Lake George.   Note use of Columbia Turnpike as the boundary line between Wards 3 and Wards 4.
67  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 05:14:57 am
If there were a unit count for Tradewinds inside and Tradewinds outside the loop, we could estimate the Tradewinds population outside the loop, and subtract that from the 200 persons in 12-1012.   Then the Ward 4/Ward 5 split of the remainder could be estimated based on number of houses.
Is the 70 units for Tradewinds in the newspaper article gospel?

If so, there are 27 units in 12-1011 (per census), and 43 in 12-1012.   We can project from 59 persons in 12-1011 to get a population outside the loop.  27:43 :: 59:94.

This would give 200 - 94 = 106 persons elsewhere in 12-1011.

The housing split between Wards 4 and 5 is 25.5:12.5, which would put about 70 persons in Ward 4.
68  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 24, 2014, 04:58:53 am
OK I will use the midpoint between 28 and 38, or 33 for the 2nd ward's share of the Great Northern block. Actually I will not, but reference that in the cover letter. It is too difficult to rescan everything. 32 is close enough. The building at the corner of Robinson and 3rd is a school building, now owed by two gay lawyers, from the city, who rent it out to artists, and the auditorium for artistic and sometimes political events. (It is kind of nice for Dan and I to walk half a block to partake of it all, and invite folks we meet there over to our pad.) It is not, and never has been, residential.
The percentage of occupied housing units for 12-1000, 75 of 102, appears to be fairly low, so it must include a lot of units that could be rented but aren't, particularly along Carroll and perhaps State.  This would favor a higher figure for the detached houses on Mill Street in Ward 2,

The Firemens' Home has to be split, to get folks voting in the right ward in the next election. The population exercise as to it (or anything else for that matter) I doubt will happen unless 1) a referendum almost certain to be on the ballot next year doing away with all of this fails, 2) the probably ensuing lawsuit does not toss out the system (e.g., because the court rejects the idea that alderman voting randomly vis a vis each other is unreasonable to assume), but the court does order the narrower remedy of getting the populations right, along with legal weighted voting methodology,  In the event all of that happens, then the population exercise I think will become relevant from a legal standpoint. I view it as highly unlikely that all of the above described condition precedents will be met.
What about the houses on the north side of Clinton.  Most are east of 5th Street, but two are north of 5th Street, and one is to the west of 5th Street.

If my father lived at the Firemen's Home and moved rooms and had to switch wards, I'd sue the City of Hudson.  The Common Council could and should approve a resolution declaring the Firemen's Home to be entirely in the 4th Ward.

Oh, by the way, is the 85 number for nursing home living that you attribute to the Firemens' Home a census number from 2010? I ask, because the current population is 72. If it is from the census, where is the place that I can document that?
2010 Census Data, SF1 100%.  I used American Factfinder.

Tables QT-P11, QT-P13, H1, H10, P1

Of the 85 persons in Group Quarters in 12-1000, 72 are over 65, and 13 are between 18 and 64.  All 85 are in nursing facilities (group quarters also included places like prisons, college dorms, and military barracks).

I also looked up the data for 12-1011 (Tradewinds inner) and 12-1012 (split conglomerate).

12-1011 27 households in 27 housing units.
12-1012 87 households in 89 housing units.

(that is why the 75 households in 102 housing units for 12-1000 is comparatively low.

If there were a unit count for Tradewinds inside and Tradewinds outside the loop, we could estimate the Tradewinds population outside the loop, and subtract that from the 200 persons in 12-1012.   Then the Ward 4/Ward 5 split of the remainder could be estimated based on number of houses.

All the Harry Howard addresses on the east side of the street up to a bit north of the two houses that I depicted, vote in the 4th Ward, even though they should not along part of it under either the ordinance ward boundary language or even the map. It turns out that there are but two houses outside the Crosswinds Apartments to which this applies.
The area on Harry Howard was built out prior to 1994, the earliest imagery for the area on Google Earth.   But the road has been there since 1891, and might have been there since colonial times (how would Martin Van Buren gotten to and from the White House?).   The 5th ward was split off from the 4th ward between 1880 and 1890, so any farmers on the road would have been in the 4th ward at a time when the 5th ward would have been thought of mainly as the area east of 5th and north of Warren.
69  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 23, 2014, 09:22:31 pm
The May 20, 2003 Common Council set the referendum for equal-population wards to November 3, 2003; and set the question to be asked:

"Should the City Charter be amended so that effective January 1, 2006, each Ward shall contain an equal number of citizens, and each member of the Common Council, including the President, have one vote on all matters before it?"

At the November 10, 2003 Common Council meeting, the purchase of the Dunn building northwest of Broad and Water.  It had some connection to a hazardous waste site, so you may not want to claim it.

After the referendum on equal-population wards was defeated in November, 2003, there was no discussion of the issue until 2004.   The November election also chose a new common council, so perhaps they waited until the members took office in January.

The January 28, 2004 report of the Legal Committee had this item:

"City Attorney Connor also stated that he was waiting on an opinion from the State’s Attorney General’s Office in regards to the reapportionment of the weighted vote."

The February 25, 2004 report of the Legal Committee had these items:

"City Attorney Connor briefed the committee on the following resolution designated polling places, city weighted vote, and the possession of alcoholic beverage in public places."

"The following resolutions were moved forward for full council review.

....

'On a motion by Alderman Shook seconded by Council President Vertetis a local law to amend the Hudson City Charter in relation to the weighted vote by members of the Common Council.

...."

At the March 16, 2004 Common Council meeting, a local law setting the the new weighted votes was introduced.   It would allow for an initiated (by petition) referendum, but apparently unlike the equal-population proposal, the referendum was not mandatory/

You will recall that the Common Council established the populations to be used for the wards based on the 2000 Census, in the spring of 2002.  Then late in 2002, the proposals for equal population wards began, continuing into Spring 2003.  The referendum was in November 2003, which appears to have delayed the implementation of weighting for two years.  My guess would be that the weights were calculated in 2002.  They may have then triggered discussion of the equal-population wards, which deferred the actual revision of the weights.

Since the voting weights had not been revised since first implemented in 1974, simply revising weights could not be considered just a routine technical matter.

The new weighted votes were approved by the Common Council on April 20, 2004.

There was an April 30, 2004 public hearing in the local law setting the weighted votes.  Since there was no public present, the hearing was adjourned after 10 minutes.
70  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 23, 2014, 06:29:54 pm
Fantastic work Jim.  Thank  you so much. With your permission, I would like to attach as an exhibit to my next letter the pages of yours above starting with the old aerial of the Firemens’ Home. Is that OK? If so, should I use the screen name “Jimtex” or your real name when referencing your authorship?
Jim Riley is fine.

Quote
That leaves us with just a few loose ends to tie up.





While the allocation of 19 persons to Ward 1 in the “Great Northern” census block used for the 2001 population calculations may have been reasonable for the 9 housing units located in the Mill Street area for the 2001 census count (the 44 figure that you derived from the ward census count in 2001 certainly would not be), it seems unlikely that the 19 figure would be a reasonable estimate for 2011, when there were 14 structures (with the 5 new ones having a fair number of children living in them (yes, they are some sort of subsidized housing).  The 32 figure which is on your map for the 2011 population count would seem more appropriate.  Where exactly did that figure come from again, along with the 292-73 split for the Front Street block (yes, I know you allocated yourself I think the 3 prisoners who were assigned to that census block)?
The spreadsheet that you posted from the Hofstra report had a 290:72 split for the Front Street block.  It was not prison-adjusted, so I allocated the three added prisoners 2:1, to come to a total 292:73.   Similarly the 257:32 for the Great Northern block are from the spreadsheet.  The spreadsheet is of dubious value, other than highlighting the two blocks that had their population reallocated.   The spreadsheet, like the Papa+ numbers use VTD 3 and VTD 5 as equivalent to Ward 3 and Ward 5, which they are not.   I should probably take the allocations off the map, and simply use the parentheses to indicate that the population for the entire split block must be allocated between wards.

I agree with you about the 44 from the 2000 Census for the Ward 2 population being dubious.  I get around 66 housing units for the Ward 4 portion of the Great Northern block, though some of the buildings on Carroll and Short streets may be commercial.

Sources of possible error:

-- The area between Robinson St and Strawberry Alley, east of 2nd Street is not in the Great Northern block, because Strawberry Alley connects to Robinson St at the east end, and form a separate census block (population 72 in 2000, 55 in 2010).  This area is in Ward 2, and could have erroneously increased the Ward 2 allocation if treated as being part of the Great Northern.

-- The area between State St and Rope Alley, east of 3rd Street is in the Great Northern block because Rope Alley dead ends and does not form a census block.  This area is Ward 4, and would have erroneously decreased the Ward 4 allocation if treated as being outside the Great Northern block.

-- The houses on the east side of 3rd Street north of State Street are in Ward 4, though on the boundary between wards.

-- The structure on the northwest corner of 3rd Street and Robinson St is in Ward 2 and the Great Northern block.  It looks like an old school building, but with no playground equipment.  It could have been converted to apartments?   What is the large long parking lot on the north side of Strawberry Alley used for?   If the building was converted to apartments, it could be used for those.  Or perhaps overflow parking for events downtown?   People could walk downtown, or perhaps use a shuttle.

-- Allocation error based on confusion about the Firemen's Home.  The proper allocation for Ward 2 should be its proportional share of the 212 persons in housing units, with the 83 persons in group quarters being placed in Ward 4.   This would reduce the 44 to 31.

Quote


I accept your estimate of 55 for the "pseudo" block-Clinton Street-“east” of Howard Way, between that street and the pond area. I count 27 structures in that area, so it is a reasonable enough figure for now to use as an estimate.  That along with the transfer of the Columbia triangle to Ward 5 and the readjustment of the population allocations to the wards involved of the Front Street and Great Northern census blocks just about wraps up the population transfers (other than that I am going to use a population allocation of the Front Street block between wards 1 and 2 based on the relative apartment count, at least until such time as I know where the slightly different figures used in 2001 came from (if based on a bedroom count, than yes that would be superior, but if based on some actual headcount at the time, then it would not be) except for one thing.
Conceivably, one could do a population allocation based on voter registration rolls.  This might provide a better population estimate since it would recognize a housing unit with a couple as having a greater population than a house with a widow.  It would be slightly biased towards families with children, but couples probably have more children than single parents.  It would treat households with no registrants as being vacant.  This might introduce a demographic bias.

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While the Firemens’ Home was not bisected in 2001 by the 4th – 5th ward boundary, it is now. One structure was torn down, and two new ones built that are bisected it appears. So a survey will need to be done to those structures, and a population transfer made from the 4th ward to the 5th ward. I am told that its current population is 72, and was about the same in 2010, so an equal split of the 72 residents, would involve a transfer of 36 residents from the 4th ward to the 5th ward, both for population purposes and as voters.
I think from a legal standpoint, you have to treat a building as being a point, and the question is where do you locate that point.   If it were me, I would simply change the definition of "5th Street (extended) to the city limits" to be "5th Street (extended) to Harry Howard, and thence northward along Harry Howard to the city limits."

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Finally, the residents of the Crosswinds Apartments and the residents of two houses along Howard Way need to stop voting in the 4th ward as they are currently doing, and start voting in the 5th ward, along with their fellow Hudsonians living in the Columbia Triangle who are currently voting in the 3rd ward.  
That is truly bizarre.  The house on the corner of Paddock and Harry Howard has its driveway on Harry Howard, but faces towards Paddock, so they vote in Ward 5.   But not their next door neighbors votes in Ward 4.  And the houses further out, across from the high school all face Harry Howard, but vote in Ward 5?

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So my population chart now looks as follows.  Let me know if you have any further comments. Thanks again Jim. I very much appreciate your efforts here. You have been utterly magnificent, and without you, much of this may have never been appropriately resolved. Now I am confident that it will be.


The Great Northern block is 12-1000 rather than 12-2000.

The 32:257 split of 12-1000 comes from the spreadsheet from the Hofstra report.  Since that report did not have a prison adjustment (even though 12-1000 had a zero adjustment); they messed up the Hudson Terrace allocation; and did not split 12-1012; and had 12-4000 and the Columbia triangle in the wrong wards, I would give the 32:257 split zero credibility.

For the 2010 Census:

12-1000 head 289 persons, 204 in housing units, 85 in group quarters-nursing (ie the Firemen's home).   There were 102 housing units, 75 occupied and 27 vacant.  There were 58 children under 20, with a median age of around 9 or 10.

If we assume all the 2nd Ward units were occupied, then 14/75 of 204 is 38.08.   If we assume an equal distribution of vacant units then 14/102 of 204 is 28.00.

If your count/estimate of 14 housing units is correct, then the allocation is in the 28:261 to 38:251 range.   So maybe the Hofstra report was correct in this case.   But we'd be more consistent to have our own estimate for all split blocks.  We can at least document our methodology.

In 2010, 13-1002 had 362 persons, and LATFOR added 3 prisoners for a total population of 365.  None were in group quarters.  There were 167 housing units, so perhaps one unit is an office, or storage.  146 were occupied and 21 were not.  There were 159 children under 20, with a median age closer to 7 or 8 (ie lots of single moms).

I would not subdivide the Firemen's Home.  It seems too frivolous.
71  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 23, 2014, 01:28:15 pm
The January 13, 2003 (organizational meeting) minutes stated:

"The President stated that a vote on the proposed Charter amendments would take place shortly after January 22nd when a full Council should be in place."

The March 18, 2003 common council minutes include the (re)introduction of the equal-population ward resolution.  It appears to be the same as the December 2002 resolution.  Aldermen Cross and Nedwick introduced it.

The April 15, 2003 common council minutes included the approval of the charter change, with the referendum set for November 2003.

The referendum was quite equivocal failing on a 610:678 vote.

By precinct:

1-1 67:97
2-1 65:61
3-1 90:86
3-2 65:70
4-1 69:69
5-1 101:151
5-2 153:154.

The proposal was defeated by the No votes from precincts 1-1 and 5-1, even though they were only about 60% No.  Ward 1 would have been greatly expanded, with existing Ward 1 barely being a majority of the new ward.   Much of 5-1 in the regular street grid would have been moved into Ward 4.

The election was concurrent with the mayoral and president elections.

94.2% of voters cast a vote for mayor.
74.2% of voters cast a vote for president.
57.0% of voters voted in the equal population referendum.

The mayoral and presidential elections were partisan, though Mayor-elect Scalera was running on the Republican, Democratic, Independence, and Conservative lines.  His opponent Mussman ran on the Fair Deal line.

An Atlas map would show Ward 2 in red, Ward 1 in purple, and most of the remainder of the city in blue.
72  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 23, 2014, 12:38:57 pm
The October 15, 2002 Common Council meeting minutes included the following iterm:

"On motion of Alderman Cross, seconded by Alderman Keith, the report of the
City’s weighted vote reapportionment was ordered received and referred to the Legal Committee."

Who was the report by?  Dr.Papa+?  The report must be in the city files.

November 19, 2002 Common Council meeting minutes included a report from the October 30, Legal Committee meeting that included the following item:

"Resolutions will be sent from the Legal Committee to the full Council regarding Weighted Vote Reapportionment in the city’s voting districts and a proposed City of Hudson Historic Preservation Ordinance. These topics were discussed at length with the committee members being in full support of both propositions."

The December 17, 2002 Common Council minutes include the following item:

"On motion of Alderman Wurster, seconded by Alderman Shook, the following proposed local law, introduced by Alderman Meyer and seconded by Alderman Wurster, was ordered placed on the aldermen’s desks as required by the Municipal Home Rule Law:
PROPOSED LOCAL LAWS INTRODUCTORY NO. 7, 2002
A LOCAL LAW AMENDING THE BOUNDARIES
OF WARDS IN THE CITY OF HUDSON
AND VOTING PROCEDURE OF THE COMMON COUNCIL"

The resolution provides for equal-population wards without weighting.  I think the "placed on the aldermen's desks ..." was a procedural matter, since any such change must be approved by the electorate.

Here are the proposed wards:



Pretty straightforward other than 40% of Ward 3's population being in prison.  Wards 1 and 4 are extended eastward.   Ward 3 nibbles at the southern edge of Ward 5.

Whoever prepared this map understood the problems of using 5th Street extended as a boundary, and avoid splitting census blocks by including a notch around the 5th-(Clinton)-Short-Washington pseudo block, keeping it in Ward 5, along with the areas north of Underhill Pond.
The boundary between Wards 3 and Wards 5 is quite notch-y and complex, apparently in an effort to balance populations. 

Equal-Population Resolution beginning at page 18 of PDF document., December 18, 2002

It is not clear where this originated from.  The Legal Committee had apparently been discussing adjusting the voting weights (which had never been adjusted after first being used in 1974).  Perhaps someone had decided to completely go away from weighted voting.  Alderman Meyer introduced the resolution.
73  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 23, 2014, 11:37:38 am
The April 16, 2002 common council minutes include the report of the March 27, 2002 Legal Committee meeting.  The committee minutes state that Alderman Cross presented breakdowns and graphs of census data were distributed for the committee members to take home and study.  Is Alderman Cross around?  Are those materials filed somewhere?

The May 21, 2002 common council minutes include the report of the April 24, 2002 Legal Committee meeting.   Old business was: "Census, update weighted vote after adjusting overlapping wards."

The May 21, 2002 common council meeting also approved the resolution of the 2000 ward populations.

I would guess that the legal committee drafted the resolution, or agreed that the resolution should be drafted.  It is not clear whether council committees in Hudson have any direct legislative authority; or are more for the purpose of hashing things out, and making reports, with the making of resolutions entirely done before the whole council.

I would be quite interested in the documents from the March 27, 2002 and April 24, 2002 Legal Committee meetings.

I just came across something very interesting from later in the year, so am reviewing all the 2002 council minutes.
74  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 23, 2014, 10:45:29 am
The 2002 Council Resolution expressed concern that Firemen's Home had been given a zero count, and that a challenge had been made with the Census Bureau.

I believe that the council concern was due to a misunderstanding the census geography.  There is a census block 12/1011(2000) on the north side of Harry Howard at the location of the Firemen's Home, which had a 2000 population of 0.   But the loop represents the driveway loop up to the Firemen's Home.



Rather than creating a census block to capture the Firemen's Home, the Census Bureau simply recognized a visible road.  The same phenomena happens in the cemetery in the southeast corner of the city.  There are lots of people there, but there is no one living there.

But the 2000 Census did show that of the 295 persons living in the Great Northern block 12/1000(2000), 83 were living in Group Quarter(nursing care facility), and 212 in housing units.   I presume that there are no other group quarters in the Great Northern block, and thus the population of the Firemen's Home was 83.

If I were allocating the population between Wards 2 and Wards 4, I would do it in proportion to the housing units.

If I though that the 295 population did not include the Firemen's Home, I would arrive at the allocation of 44:251 used in the Council Resolution.

If I realized that there were 212 persons in housing units, I would allocate that population on the same proportion of housing units, and get an allocation of 32:180.  I would then add in the Firemen's Home population of 83, to get a final allocation of 32:263.

This is only a small difference of 12 persons.  It is quite possible that the person who did the allocation did it correctly, and the message about the Firemen's Home got garbled before it found its way into the council resolution; or it is possible that they just concluded the Census Bureau had missed the population of the Firemen's Home.

The population calculations for the 2002 resolution were likely done by someone on the staff of the Hudson planning department (or maybe the Columbia County planning department).  They may still be working there.  Or they may be retired, or dead.  The motion to pass the 2002 resolution was made by Alderman Wurster.   Is he available?

Note that between the 2000 and 2010 censuses, the new building at the Firemen's Home closer to Harry Howard was built, and the building at the top of the loop demolished.  The loop has been reconfigured into driveways and parking lots, but the 2010 census still had it as a zero population census block.   The football shaped monument/memorial(?) just inside the top of the loop has been relocated to be in front of the still existing building to the west.  Is this the museum?

The 2000 location of the Firemen's Home was clearly in Ward 4.  The boundary probably now runs through the new building.  I would continue to consider the entire building to be in Ward 4.  I suspect that many of those living there are either not registered to vote, or continue to be registered at their former residence.
75  General Politics / Political Geography & Demographics / Re: City of Hudson's weighed voting system under scrutiny on: October 23, 2014, 09:30:09 am
Here are my estimates of the population.

Start with:

Population wholly in Ward 1: 463
Population wholly in Ward 2: 1204
Population of VTD 3: 1142
Population wholly in Ward 4 (excluding Short-Washington-6th-Prospect block): 455
Population of VTD 5: 2485
Front Street Block: 365
Great Northern Block: 289

All populations are prison-adjusted.

Then make the following adjustments:

Divide the Front Street block based on the same proportions as used in 2000.

Ward 1:Ward 2 :: 138:227

Assume that the Papa+ allocation is correct for Great Northern is correct.

Ward 2:Ward 4 :: 19:270

Shift 66 person in Columbia Triangle from Ward 3 to Ward 5.

Shift 25 persons in Short-Washington-6th-Prospect block from Ward 5 to Ward 4.

Shift estimated 50 persons in Short-(Clinton)-6th-Prospect block and houses south of Harry Howard from Ward 5 to Ward 4:

Ward 1: 463 + 138 = 601
Ward 2: 1204 + 227 + 19 = 1450
Ward 3: 1142 - 66 = 1076
Ward 4: 455 + 270 + 75 = 800
Ward 5: 2485 + 66 - 75 = 2476

We can then check whether the current voting weights adequately reflect the population.


Ward            Vote    Swing R.Pop.  R.Pow    Dev.  
Ward 1            95     128   9.39%  11.59%  23.52%
Ward 2           185     220  22.65%  19.93% -12.00%
Ward 3           180     188  16.80%  17.03%   1.34%
Ward 4            95     128  12.49%  11.59%  -7.20%
Ward 5           365     440  38.67%  39.86%   3.07%
President        190     260


The calculation of voting power is based on each alderman from a ward voting independently.  That is, the two aldermen from Ward 1 each cast 95 votes, and each is critical to 128 voting combinations.  For purposes of calculating voting power share, the voting power of the President is ignored.   This is consistent with redistricting litigation treating voting for at-large members independently from voting for district members.  Because I halved the number of votes and critical combinations for all wards, the relative voting power of a voter in each ward is correct.

For comparison here is the calculation that Dr.Papa+ used in analyzing the weights.   The weights and voting power are the same, the population share and deviation are naturally different.


Ward            Vote    Swing R.Pop.  R.Pow    Dev.  
Ward 1            95     128  12.03%  11.59%  -3.59%
Ward 2           185     220  20.01%  19.93%  -0.39%
Ward 3           180     188  17.84%  17.03%  -4.52%
Ward 4            95     128  11.32%  11.59%   2.40%
Ward 5           365     440  38.81%  39.86%   2.69%
President        190     260


Using the Papa+ populations, the absolute maximum relative deviation is 4.52%, the range of deviations 7.21%, the standard deviation 2.97%, and the population-weighted standard deviation 2.95%.

Using my population estimates, the absolute maximum relative deviation is 23.52%, the range of deviations 35.52%, the standard deviation 12.21%, and the population-weighted standard deviation 9.75%.  Clearly residents of Wards 2 and 4 have an equal protection claim.
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