Written by Wendy Karpel Kreitzman Friday, 03 June 2011 00:00
As Nassau County faces turmoil and controversy surrounding the Nassau County Legislature Majority (Republican) redistricting plan, 10th District Legislator Judi Bosworth explained the issues to local officials at the May 25 Great Neck Village Officials Association meeting. Legislator Bosworth currently represents all of Great Neck, as well as surrounding areas such as Manhasset and New Hyde Park.
The Majority’s original proposal split Great Neck into two separate districts, and, in fact split three Great Neck villages. Following strenuous Democratic Minority objections, a heated public hearing, and legal action (including an injunction), the Republican Majority did some rearranging and kept all of Great Neck, except for Lake Success, in the 10th District. At the GNVOA meeting, both Legislator Bosworth and the Great Neck mayors were still angry and still anxious to keep Lake Success in the 10th District with the rest of Great Neck.
Legislator Bosworth noted the importance of the speeches by several of the Great Neck mayors at the recent public hearing. “The Great Neck mayors stood up to keep Great Neck together,” she said. “They made compelling arguments.”
As she began the discussion, Legislator Bosworth said that she always tries to keep her actions bipartisan, as she represents all of her constituents, no matter what party they belong to. However, she was sad to report that the May public hearing “had no openness, no transparency.”
Legislator Bosworth also spoke of the speed with which the Republican Majority had pushed the plan. She said that the Democratic Minority had basically no advance notice and no time to really review anything. “The process went within days,” she said.
She did also note that the county was redistricted last in 2003 and the County Charter calls for redistricting consideration every 10 years. “What’s the rush?” she asked. And, she added that the Majority “did not follow the process.”
Additionally, Legislator Bosworth said that redistricting now would cost $2 million and the Majority would again redistrict in 2013.
Speaking of the latest plan to still cut Lake Success out of Great Neck’s legislative district, the legislator said: “It’s simply not acceptable.” And she added that this “dilutes power and influence for Great Neck.”
As Legislator Bosworth spoke, the legislature was still up in the air as to what was happening next, as more court decisions loomed.
“It’s all about process and procedure,” said Legislator Bosworth. She termed the entire procedure “troubling.” If allowed to go forward, the new redistricting plan would move 66,000 people, with almost no difference in population.
Legislator Bosworth and the local public officials stated their beliefs that the new redistricting plan was done to remove two Democratic seats on the Nassau County Legislature.
At the time of the GNVOA meeting, there was still a question as to whether or not the redistricting could be official in time to submit the June 7 petitions for the 2011 elections.
“This is just a power grab,” said Lake Success Mayor Ron Cooper.
Legislator Bosworth stated: “I’m so proud of our unity and how we work together.”
Legislator Bosworth also reported that the work on Udalls Pond is now moving forward. She said that work should begin in the fall in accordance with DEC permits. She also noted that the proposed boardwalk was no longer part of the plan, as neighbors and the neighboring Great Neck Library had expressed objections.
This project, she said was “done with bipartisan support.”
Middle Neck Road Drainage Project
Legislator Bosworth reported that the county had been working on an agreement, and that agreement had just been signed. She said that the county was now ready to proceed. She emphasized that the county had not held up the project, but private negotiations had caused the delay. “But we are now going to move forward,” Legislator Bosworth said.