State Supreme Court Judge Frank Sedita ruled in favor of Kevin Gaughan, ten county legislators and County Executive Chris Collins
who were all part of a lawsuit filed Monday to allow a resolution to be placed on the November ballot to let voters decide whether to reduce the amount of county legislators from 15 to 11.
The board of elections removed the proposition from the ballot Friday, arguing the resolution was not properly filed with the county clerk. But the judge did not agree and ordered the resolution be put back on the ballot immediately. Some legislators believe the Board's actions were deliberate.
"I asked the board of election commissioner when did you have this change of heart? When did you do this research? You know you waited until the last minute. If it was good enough last year to put a local law on the ballot and they had problem with this, then why didn't they come to the legislature and say, procedurally this is how we want you to do it," said Thomas Loughran, Democratic Erie County Legislator of District 14.
"I expect that there will be an appeal mainly because based on the summary. I didn't see any specific guidance for Board of Elections in these circumstances," said Michael Perley, attorney for the Board of Elections.
The Board of Elections Commission most likely planning to appeal the judge's decision. Ralph Mohr and Dennis Ward, the two Board of Elections Commissioners, were not present at today's hearing.
The judge ordered the downsizing resolution be placed on the ballot immediately, even saying as early as today in his ruling.
If the board does decide to appeal, the appeals case would have to be ruled on before the November 2nd election.