Friday, 22 February 2013 00:00
The Nassau County Legislature Rules Committee voted recently to adopt a redistricting map that will break Hicksville into three separate legislative districts. At the hearing, Chairwoman Norma Gonsalves denied that the map was gerrymandered, further stating that the Supreme Court has not defined gerrymandering. The Supreme Court may not have defined it but much like their approach to pornography, I know gerrymandering when I see it and this map is a classic gerrymandering effort. For example, parts of downtown Hicksville, along with two elementary schools (East Street and Burns Avenue) would fall into the new 14th district, which will span an east-west swath of Nassau County from Garden City to Old Bethpage! North Hicksville will fall into the new 16th district that stretches from Roslyn Estates to the Suffolk border! South Hicksville will follow a north-south axis to Merrick Road in the new 17th district.
I implore Legislator Rose Walker, our current legislator and longtime resident of Hicksville, to vote against the demise of historic Hicksville as a political entity. The State Senate has already broken Hicksville into three separate districts, none of which matches the proposed county legislative boundaries. Common sense should prevail.
Hicksville should largely remain within the current 17th district with minor changes, if necessary, to reflect the incremental changes in the 2010 census. Minor changes to our boundaries with neighboring communities of Bethpage or Jericho, currently in as our 17th district, would correct those minor population changes. Unfortunately, the proposed gerrymandered map will further take away our sense of community and place Hicksville into such a large geographic political hodgepodge that we might as well go back to an at-large legislature, which was outlawed in the 1990s.
The legislature should not vote to break-up Hicksville, especially at a time when we are trying to revitalize our downtown and we are fighting for a fair share of state aid for our school district.
Phil Heckler, Hicksville resident