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East End redistricting draft map criticized

A group of East End legislators and town leaders Wednesday criticized the first draft of the redistricting chart for Assembly districts, which would split the North Fork from the Town of Riverhead and merge it with the South Fork.

Assemb. Daniel Losquadro (R-Shoreham) was joined on the steps of Southold Town Hall by Riverhead Town Supervisor Sean Walters, Southold Town Supervisor Scott Russell and Suffolk Legis. Edward Romaine (R-Center Moriches) for a news conference where they asked residents to attend a public hearing on the matter Thursday in Hauppauge.

The group said keeping Riverhead and the North Fork together is important for many reasons, including their common agricultural needs.

Losquadro’s current district includes northeastern Brookhaven Town, Riverhead Town, Southold Town and Shelter Island.

The draft, criticized in other parts of Long Island, has Southold Town represented by Assemb. Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor), who currently represents the South Fork.

Representatives from such groups as the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition and the North Fork Environmental Council were also at the news conference to register their opposition to the draft.

“Riverhead should not be disconnected from the East End,” said Dominique Mendez, president of the Riverhead Neighborhood Preservation Coalition.

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