Instead, the latest proposal would put three sets of legislators into the same district — Democrats Joseph Scannell and David Denenberg on the South Shore, Democrats Wayne Wink and Delia DeRiggi-Whitton on the North Shore, and Republicans Joseph Belisi and Michael Venditto in southeastern Nassau County.
Helene Manas, of Merrick, said she is upset that the plan would separate Denenberg from most of the people he currently represents, and noted that the lines in Merrick were drawn around his house to put him in a district with Scannell. “He is very popular in his district,” she said of Denenberg. “You have rigged the election so you can win a Republican seat. If you think your ideas are the best to run the county, you shouldn’t have to cheat to win an election.”
Frank Moroney, who chaired the redistricting commission, said the map upholds the basic one-person, one-vote principle of the Constitution and creates three minority districts. He added that public input following the commission’s Jan. 3 hearing had been taken into account, noting that areas such as Massapequa, the Great Neck peninsula and Westbury were reunited at residents’ request. However, Moroney said, creating districts of equal size meant that putting Elmont or the Five Towns back together wouldn’t work.
Monique Hardial, an Elmont Library trustee, said that putting her community in the same district as Inwood was illogical. Elmont should be kept with communities like Valley Stream and Franklin Square, she said, as those areas have similar interests and issues.
Henry Boitel, of Rockville Centre, a village that would be split into three districts under the plan, said he wondered how anyone could suggest that the maps are fair and reasonable, or that there was great transparency in the process. “What we see today was predictable from the first hearing,” he said.