Friday, 26 August 2011 00:00If you have read the story about Terrance Kelly and his petition saga, you as well as we now have a grasp of how important our signature is.
When someone shows up at your door to have you sign a petition it is actually a legal document and if you don’t write your signature in its accustomed way – it can be dismissed.
Now Terrance Kelly knows as do our readers!
Actually over our years of covering the town, we have seen a petition signed with names that appeared to us to have been gotten at a political party meeting – with people from areas outside the petitioning site on the list.
There were Locust Valley and Hicksville addresses on an issue that dealt with Oyster Bay, so there is a history of doubt that hangs over petitions.
There is another issue that we have seen and it is the petition signed by neighbors. A former town councilman shared with us the problem of people who sign a local petition because they don’t want to offend their neighbors and then have called town hall to rescind their signing and saying they were in favor of something else.
It’s a Democracy and it is hard to run and keep balanced. What is wonderful is that in the end, it all works.
It just takes time.
But we do want to say that we personally hope that the Town of Oyster Bay gets a Democrat on the town board. We need that further balance to keep the system running correctly.
Please remember, this is an opinion column.
And, while we are sticking our neck out, we would like to remind politicians that in the issue of redistricting, it is the voter who is being given the runaround. Just who are we going to be voting for in the Nov. 8 election if the Republican redistricting wins in the courts.
Democrat Judy Jacobs presented the issue she is facing as it bounced through the court system.
Judy Jacobs gave her opinion saying:
“The redistricting political power grab by the Republicans, who hold a majority on the Nassau County Legislature, defies decency, good government and logic. Sadly, in this day and age this is what the electorate has come to expect from those in power. Honestly, there are many of us, in both parties, who are elected and still possess decency, compassion and a deep respect for the intelligence of the electorate we represent.
“I am not going to reiterate all that has been told in the newspapers as to how this all happened, except to say that in a secret room in the basement of the Legislative building, new maps were being drawn without any bi-partisan input (as the charter dictates) and then a partisan map was put before the Legislature which, of course, passed due to the Republicans holding their 11 to 8 majority. The issue has been in the lower courts, the Appeals Court and, finally, on Wednesday, August 24th is going to the Court of Appeals in Albany.
“The easiest way for you to grasp what is happening is that my district, District 16, which had little or no census change (the census is supposed to be the only indicator of drawing new lines), has been totally splintered under the Republican’s proposed map. Seventy percent of my District will be taken out and I then take on 70 percent which is totally new and geographically not in the same area. For example, I lose all of north Syosset, Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove, East Norwich, Laurel Hollow, most of Plainview and, believe it or not, most of Woodbury even though I live in Woodbury. The shape of the new District on their map looks like a lounge chair with Woodbury at the head and Glen Cove at the foot, and areas such as Locust Valley, Sea Cliff, the Brookvilles, Glen Head in the middle. There is no logic as to why this was done. I would not want to think that the Republicans were upset that I represented such a large area of Oyster Bay which included areas of strong Republican registration and, fortunately, for 16 years, entrusted me as their Legislator.
“So, now it is in the hands of the highest Court in New York State and Newsday is urging that Court to resolve this uncertainty which exists, pointing out that… ‘The public must have the confidence that its local government is legitimate.’
“I, of course, will always continue to uphold my work ethic and personal belief in fairness, calmness and clarity. My integrity and honesty has never been compromised and never will be. No matter which lines are the final lines, the voters I represent can be certain of that.
“However, you deserve more respect than you have been shown. You deserve maps drawn for the right reasons. You deserve and should expect nothing less,” concluded Ms. Jacobs.
And remember, we in the Oyster Bay, Oyster Bay Cove, East Norwich, Laurel Hollow areas are the ones who are being disenfranchised. Judy Jacobs is a longtime civic activist and is well known in the community. She is a woman to be respected – something that is easy to do with such a devoted public servant.