Lawsuit Filed to Get Downsizing Vote on Ballot

October 4, 2010 Updated Oct 5, 2010 at 8:47 AM EDT

By WKBW Programming

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October 4, 2010 Updated Oct 5, 2010 at 8:47 AM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - The proposition to downsize the Erie County Legislature from 15 to 11 members was slated to appear on the November ballot, until a technical error canceled the scheduled vote.

Downsizing activist Kevin Gaughan filed suit Monday in New York State Supreme Court to compel the Erie County Board of Elections to allow the vote to occur in the November election.

"Our volunteers, along with every Erie County resident who desires a better future, have worked too hard for this vote to let political quibbling take away the opportunity," Gaughan said. "And while I dislike using the courts to affect public policy, my unease with bringing suit is exceeded by my disappointment in the elections board's actions."

The proposition was canceled because it was delivered by the legislature to the board by the wrong office. Gaughan is calling on the legislature and Erie County Executive Chris Collins to join his effort to get the referendum back on the November ballot.

Supreme Court Judge Frank Sedita will hear arugments Tuesday on the issue.

Gaughan is leading a citizens' movement to downsize village, town, county, and state government. His efforts have resulted in voters in five towns and one village adopting downsizing measures. This year, residents in the villages of Williamsville, Sloan, and Farnham rejected government dissolution. Gaughan plans on advancing his idea to downsize the state legislature in the coming weeks.