Suffolk: A smaller legislature for efficiency's sake?

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Freshman Suffolk Legis. William J. Lindsay III is looking to pare the size of the county legislature, according to county sources.

Lindsay (D-Bohemia), author of the most recent merger of the comptroller's and treasurer's office, has not put a number on how small he would make the 18-member body, but his aim is to cut costs and make the legislature more efficient, according to the sources. Lindsay declined to comment on whether he is considering such a proposal.

In 1986, the Suffolk Conservative Party sought to abolish the legislature and at times there have been other proposals to cut the number of districts to 10, the same as the number of Suffolk towns.

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The legislature was formed in 1970 after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the former Board of Supervisors violated the one-person, one-vote principle because it gave Suffolk's five small East End towns the same vote as the more populous five western towns.

Richard Schaffer, Suffolk Democratic chairman, said he backs the current legislative setup but is "open to ideas" to make the legislature more efficient. "I think the legislature districts as currently constructed are small enough to give the average person an opportunity to win an election," he said.
 

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