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New Suffolk County legislative districts disappoint

The Suffolk County Legislature hears a report on

The Suffolk County Legislature hears a report on the county's deficit in a meeting at at the William H. Rogers Building in Hauppauge. (March 6, 2012) Credit: Newsday/Karen Wiles Stabile

Though we never liked the idea of the Suffolk County legislature killing off a reform of legislative district reapportionment, they went ahead and did it. Now they’ve put out maps that the legislature itself drew, instead of waiting for a nonpartisan commission to draw them. You should take a look and see what they do to your community.

The maps do honor a commitment by Presiding Officer William Lindsay (D-Holbrook) not to pit two incumbent legislators against one another by putting them in the same district. It’s true that the nonpartisan commission, created by the legislature in 2007 to do the reapportionment following the 2010 census, had gotten bogged down in various disputes. But there was plenty of time to unbog it. After all, the next scheduled county legislature elections are not until fall of 2013. So these maps don’t really have to be done until next spring.

Still, earlier this year, the Democrat-controlled legislature voted to take the map-making task back from the commission and draw the lines itself. Now the maps are out, and the predictable gripes have ensued. Communities ought to be kept together in on legislative district, but the hamlet of Hauppauge, for example, was split up between two Republican legislators. And a chunk of the hamlet of Wheatley Heights was seperated from the rest of the community.

If you have any specific complaints about the maps, let us know, at letters@newsday.com, or comment on this blog post.

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