With the Nassau County Legislature set to adopt a new redistricting map this winter, some Seaford residents are lobbying to have their community included in one district.
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The Seaford School District is currently divided up between Nassau County legislators Dennis Dunne, R-Levittown, and Mike Venditto, R-Massapequa. The area of Seaford north of Jerusalem Avenue is represented by Joseph Belesi, R-Farmingdale. Neighboring Wantagh is also divided up with Dunne and Legis. Dave Denenberg, D-Merrick, both covering it.
Seaford resident Christopher Carini said he has reviewed proposed redistricting maps from the Republicans and Democrats and is disappointed that both continue to slice up the area. The legislature has until early March to adopt the new district maps that will be in effect for this November's elections.
“Seaford should be in one district,” Carini said. "This should of been corrected in the redistricting. You should not split a hamlet and a school district.”
Legislator Venditto said the proposed redistricting maps are not final and that he and his colleagues will be taking input from residents before making any decision. Venditto said he has already received many emails and ohone calls from Seaford residents who have expressed their wishes for how the new redistricting map will impact the area.
"I certainly understand that people living in the Saford community would want the same legislator as someone else living in the Seaford community because there are common interests," said Venditto, who won a special election last November in the 12th district to fill the seat that had been held by Peter Schmitt before his sudden death in October. "We are at the first step of many steps in this process."
Carini said he would prefer to have all of Seaford in one district but would at least like to see the school district be represented by the same legislator. He said residents opposed to the redistricting maps have been contacting the clerk of the Nassau County Legislature, William Muller, to voice their concerns. He also hopes opponents of the redistricting maps will air their concerns at the next Nassau County Legislature meeting scheduled for this Monday at 1 p.m.
“Look at all the community groups that represent Seaford, Wantagh/Seaford Homeowners’ Association, Seaford Wellness Council, Lions Club and PTAs all remaining in separate districts,” Carini said. “These residents all have similar concerns and are effected by same issues. To have them separated dilutes their voice in the legislature.”
Two years ago Nassau County Republicans proposed new legislative lines that would have shifted most of Seaford into the district of Legis. Denise Ford, R-Long Beach, before the state Court of Appeals voted unanimously that the redistricting plan could not go into effect for the 2011 election. The Republicans control the legislature by a slim 10-9 majority.
Both the Republican and Democratic legislative redistricting plans are posted on the Nassau County Legislature website. The current GOP proposal would put Legislator Denenberg and Joseph Scannell, D-Baldwin, in the same 19th district, which currently includes the southern part of Wantagh.