Local Lawmaker Concerned About Downsizing Vote

November 1, 2010 Updated Nov 1, 2010 at 8:28 PM EDT

By Kyla Igoe

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November 1, 2010 Updated Nov 1, 2010 at 8:28 PM EDT

Buffalo, NY (WKBW-TV) - A referendum about downsizing the Erie County Legislature has become a heated topic, the day before voters have their say. Chairwoman of the Legislature, Barbara Miller-Williams is worried the reduction of legislators would result in less representation for taxpayers inside Buffalo's city limits. The referendum, which is on the backside Tuesday's ballot, allows voters to decide if the legislature should be reduced from 15 to 11 members.

"When you reduce the number down to 11, what you're going to have is elimination of services, reduction of services, and those tax paying citizens who deserve to have representation will unfortunately be cut out of the loop," said Miller-Williams.

Downsizing activist Kevin Gaughan says plenty of counties across the nation, much bigger than Erie, have thrived on smaller legislative bodies including ones in Atlanta, Missouri, and California.

"We need to create a local government structure that acts as a boost, not a burden to us and Erie county voters have a historic opportunity to do just that," said Gaughan.

Both sides want to stress to voters that the referendum will appear on the backside of their ballot.