Proposed Nassau redistricting map released
Republicans on Nassau's advisory redistricting commission Friday proposed a new map for the county legislature that would appear to pit several of the 19 incumbents against one another.
Boundaries of the proposed legislative districts were difficult to discern after the new map was posted late Friday on the website of Nassau's temporary districting advisory commission.
But it appears that incumbent legislators David Denenberg (D-Merrick) and Joseph Scannell (D-Baldwin) would be in the same district; Judy Jacobs (D-Woodbury) and Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D-Glen Cove) would be drawn together, and Republicans Joseph Belesi (R-Farmingdale) and Michael Venditto (R-North Massapequa) would be in the same new district.
The map would create three minority districts, though it was unclear whether they'd have incumbents. Commission chairman Frank Moroney said the proposed map is fair. But Nassau Democratic chairman Jay Jacobs, no relation to Judy Jacobs, blasted the lines as "a power grab by the Republicans who do not learn. They have really overreached once again."
The county legislature has the final say on redistricting. The county charter calls for the advisory commission to submit proposed legislative boundaries by Jan. 5 after holding public hearings. The legislature, which has a slim 10-9 Republican majority, can accept the map, make changes or adopt a completely new plan by March 5.
The commission has scheduled a public hearing on the map Thursday. Jay Jacobs said the Democrats will present a counterplan.
The Republican majority last year, led by the late Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt of Massapequa, approved a redistricting map that put four Democratic incumbents into two districts and flip-flopped boundaries of two other Democrats. After Democrats challenged the plan, the state Court of Appeals ruled Republicans could not implement the map until next year's elections. Democratic legislators over the past year have refused to provide the votes needed to borrow to pay property tax refunds unless they got a "fair" redistricting process.
Moroney, a Republican, said the proposed plan differs from the Schmitt map and "stands on its own merits." He said the Republican commissioners took "a fresh look at the county" and did not consider incumbency.
But Jay Jacobs complained the Republicans "have gone to great lengths to completely mess up the county's current districts."
He complained that the Long Beach district, now represented by Republican Legis. Denise Ford, would stretch across all the barrier islands and a piece of Massapequa. "They have split the Five Towns into three different districts. They have broken up Great Neck and the Great Neck communities."
Moroney said, "Obviously people will find holes they want to poke in it. Every time you give someone something, somebody else loses something."