For the last decade, state Senator Betty Little from Queensbury has been the dominant political force in the Adirondack Park. The redistricting plan unveiled yesterday expands her Park coverage into southern St. Lawrence County.
But it also lops off a huge chunk of terrain in Hamilton County. (Phil Brown at the Adirondack Explorer has mapped her change really well here.)
More interesting yet, the redistricting plan consolidates the “non-Betty Little” chunk of the Park under the purview of another Republican state Senator, Hugh Farley, who was born in Watertown and grew up in Indian Lake. (See his new map here.)
Guess what? I’ve got my hometown back,” exclaimed Farley, an Indian Lake native, after the maps became public. “I’m delighted.”
In the past, the small, disparate chunks of the Park not represented by Little were divided between four other state Senators. That left her as the main voice for the Park.
In an interview yesterday, Little pointed out that she will still represent the main population centers inside the Blue Line.
But Farley will also now hold a single consolidated chunk of terrain — Hamilton, Herkimer, Fulton, and a chunk of Saratoga County — that includes a much bigger and more consolidated piece of the Park’s geography and population.
It remains to be seen whether Farley, a Republican who has served in the state Senate since 1976, will emerge as a major player in Park policy debates.
(Ellen Rocco asked a good question: What do the district lines look like now? To see what the maps look like before these proposed changes, go here.)