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Michael Venditto Vs. Joe Belesi?

GOP Proposed District Map Puts Two Incumbents In Same District

It’s only a theoretical possibility, but if a Republican-drawn map for new legislative districts is adopted, Republican incumbents Michael Venditto and Joe Belesi could face each other in a Republican primary this year. The proposed map would place both Venditto and Belesi in the same district.

“There still a lot of speculation and it is still speculation at this point,” commented Venditto about the proposal. “It is not a given that either map proposed by the Republican or Democratic commission members will be the accepted map.”

The issue of redistricting county legislative districts has been a controversial political issue going back to the 2011 elections, when Democrats went to court to stop Republicans from adopting lines drawn by the GOP.

Legislative districts are looked at by the Nassau County Legislature every 10 years in response to the national census. A bi-partisan commission has been created consisting of five members appointed by Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt prior to his death in October and five members appointed by Kevan Abrahams, the leader of the Democratic minority in the legislature. County Executive Ed Mangano appointed the chairperson, which is a non-voting position. The Republican appointees and the Democratic appointees have drawn separate maps both of which are available for viewing on Nassau County’s website. The legislature has until early March to accept either of these maps, modify them, or draw a completely different map. Because Republicans hold the majority in the legislature, it is the GOP map that is the focus of attention.

Under the GOP proposal, both Venditto and Belesi reside in the same district. It would be the 15th Legislative District and would encompass Massapequa from Jerusalem Avenue south to the water, East Massapequa, Massapequa Park and South Farmingdale, with the northern border at Route 109. Harbor Green, from Sunset Park south to the water, would be in the 4th Legislative District, which would cover the south shore of Nassau and include Atlantic Beach and Lawrence among other south shore communities.

North Massapequa would be thrust into the 17th Legislative District which would also include most of Farmingdale, Plainedge, and the southern part of Hicksville. Legislator Rose Walker, a Republican, lives within those boundaries.

 “At this point the commission has completed their job, and I will be reviewing all the testimony from the commission as well as following the legal obligations expressed in our charter,” said Walker. “A map will be voted on by March 5.”

Democrats have blasted the proposed new districts as a Republican attempt to draw the legislative map more favorably for themselves. They have also blasted the lines for splitting up communities and being noncontiguous.

I have never seen anything like this,” commented Legislator Judy Jacobs, the former presiding officer, about the proposed GOP plan. “Everyone knows that redistricting is always political. However, there is a way to do it that makes sense and there is a way to do it that is a blatant misuse.”

Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves said that the process is not finalized, so the possibility remains that Venditto and Belesi could still be in separate legislative districts. In a statement she said, “We will do our due diligence to explore all factors involved with redistricting to meet the charter mandated deadline of March 5. Venditto made similar comments.

“There are still many steps left in the process, the most important of these steps being that we gather as much public input as possible. We still need to collect data and for me, the most important data we can collect is from our residents, particularly here in the Massapequa area. It would be a good thing to see the Massapequa areas stay together because there are a lot of common interests among the Massapequan communities. Everything is subject to what the residents think.”

News

Oyster Bay Town officials are mulling an override of the state’s 2 percent property tax cap for the second consecutive fiscal year. On Aug. 12, the town held a hearing to approve local legislation, giving the Town Council authority to pierce the cap.

 

However, according to Marta Kane, a spokesperson with the Town of Oyster Bay, Supervisor John Venditto and the members of the Oyster Bay Town Council are not certain if they will entertain a repeat of last year, when the board adopted a $277 million budget, increasing the tax levy by $15,964,647—or 8.8 percent. 

Village officials have teamed up with James Faith Entertainment—founders of the Great South Bay Music Festival in Patchogue—to organize Farmingdale’s first ever two-day music festival, this September 13 and 14. 

 

“Farmingdale is another town that is starting to move forward,” festival producer Jim Faith told the Farmingdale Observer, last May. “[The inaugural festival] will be small, but we’ll start growing it... music festival always take a few years to catch on.” 

 

Faith said that when he first started the Great South Bay Music Festival, back in 2007, it too started small, growing little by little each year. For its inaugural year, Faith booked folk musician Richie

Havens to headline the event. Now, more than eight years later, the festival has featured numerous big name musicians, including: the Doobie Brothers, WAR, Billy Squier, Taking Back Sunday, moe., and Blues legend B.B. King, to name a few. 


Sports

Register now as classes fill up quickly and you don’t want to miss out on the chance to join in trapeze workshops at Eisenhower Park’s I.FLY this fall.

 

“I.FLY was designed to give kids and adults the ability to fulfill their dreams of being in the circus,” says instructor Anthony Rosamilia.  “Flying through the air never gets boring.  At I.FLY, we help people create lifelong memories.” 

After more than a month of group play, on Aug. 16, fourteen teams went head-to-head for a shot at the 2014 Farmingdale Baseball League’s 9/11 Tournament Championship. Here are some highlights from Saturday’s championships. 

 

8U Finals

Long Island Rangers 8 - Farmingdale Greendogs 9


Calendar

McKevitt Mobile Office Hours - August 21

Artisan Market - August 23

Blood Drive - August 24


Columns

1959: The Year The Music Stopped Playing
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com

The Eccentric Heiress Of ‘Empty Mansions’
Written by Mike Barry, MFBarry@optonline.net

Yellow Margarine And A Pitch For The Ages
Written by Michael A. Miller, mmillercolumn@gmail.com