Written by Ronald Scaglia, email@example.com Friday, 11 January 2013 00:00
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.”
Wednesday, 15 May 2013 00:00
As voters in the Massapequa Union Free School District approach the Tuesday, May 21, budget vote, the proposed spending plan retains popular educational programs while keeping the rise in spending to 1.49 percent.
Despite what district officials call unprecedented increases in state-mandated employer pension contributions, as well as rising health insurance costs, the overall budget is up just over $2.7 million.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
After Massapequa resident Sol Goldstein and several friends helped finish building a house for a family 20 years ago for Habitat for Humanity, they had a question: “What do we do now?” They were all retired, had enjoyed working together and accomplishing something for a family in need, and wanted to do more.
“I was looking for something [to do] hands-on,” said Joe Botkin, of Williston Park, a retired principal, who had worked with Goldstein in building the home.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
Vinny Zanfardino started his coaching career in 1997 when he stepped up to coach his daughter’s Little League team.
What started as a hobby turned into a full-blown obsession for Zanfardino, 48. Coaching became an outlet to do some good for children while staying close to the game he loves: baseball.
Thursday, 16 May 2013 00:00
On Saturday, May 18, the Town of Oyster Bay will conduct a ceremony to officially re-name its golf course in honor of Joseph Colby, a resident of Massapequa Park who served as the Town of Oyster Bay’s 56th supervisor. The Honorable Joseph Colby was appointed supervisor in 1977 and was elected to that office five times in the following ten years. He was then elected as a New York State Supreme Court Justice in 1988, a post he held through his retirement from public service in 1992. The unveiling will take place at the main entrance of the course off South Woods Road in Woodbury.
“When the sign for Honorable Joseph Colby Town of Oyster Bay Golf Course is unveiled, it will celebrate an outstanding career in public service,” Supervisor John Venditto said. “Joseph Colby has always had the needs of the public as his top priority and has been widely respected for his innovation and responsiveness. This golf course will now forever bear his name as a tribute to his outstanding legacy.”