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Michael Venditto Vs. Joe Belesi?

GOP Proposed District Map Puts Two Incumbents In Same District

It’s only a theoretical possibility, but if a Republican-drawn map for new legislative districts is adopted, Republican incumbents Michael Venditto and Joe Belesi could face each other in a Republican primary this year. The proposed map would place both Venditto and Belesi in the same district.

“There still a lot of speculation and it is still speculation at this point,” commented Venditto about the proposal. “It is not a given that either map proposed by the Republican or Democratic commission members will be the accepted map.”

The issue of redistricting county legislative districts has been a controversial political issue going back to the 2011 elections, when Democrats went to court to stop Republicans from adopting lines drawn by the GOP.

Legislative districts are looked at by the Nassau County Legislature every 10 years in response to the national census. A bi-partisan commission has been created consisting of five members appointed by Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt prior to his death in October and five members appointed by Kevan Abrahams, the leader of the Democratic minority in the legislature. County Executive Ed Mangano appointed the chairperson, which is a non-voting position. The Republican appointees and the Democratic appointees have drawn separate maps both of which are available for viewing on Nassau County’s website. The legislature has until early March to accept either of these maps, modify them, or draw a completely different map. Because Republicans hold the majority in the legislature, it is the GOP map that is the focus of attention.

Under the GOP proposal, both Venditto and Belesi reside in the same district. It would be the 15th Legislative District and would encompass Massapequa from Jerusalem Avenue south to the water, East Massapequa, Massapequa Park and South Farmingdale, with the northern border at Route 109. Harbor Green, from Sunset Park south to the water, would be in the 4th Legislative District, which would cover the south shore of Nassau and include Atlantic Beach and Lawrence among other south shore communities.

North Massapequa would be thrust into the 17th Legislative District which would also include most of Farmingdale, Plainedge, and the southern part of Hicksville. Legislator Rose Walker, a Republican, lives within those boundaries.

 “At this point the commission has completed their job, and I will be reviewing all the testimony from the commission as well as following the legal obligations expressed in our charter,” said Walker. “A map will be voted on by March 5.”

Democrats have blasted the proposed new districts as a Republican attempt to draw the legislative map more favorably for themselves. They have also blasted the lines for splitting up communities and being noncontiguous.

I have never seen anything like this,” commented Legislator Judy Jacobs, the former presiding officer, about the proposed GOP plan. “Everyone knows that redistricting is always political. However, there is a way to do it that makes sense and there is a way to do it that is a blatant misuse.”

Presiding Officer Norma Gonsalves said that the process is not finalized, so the possibility remains that Venditto and Belesi could still be in separate legislative districts. In a statement she said, “We will do our due diligence to explore all factors involved with redistricting to meet the charter mandated deadline of March 5. Venditto made similar comments.

“There are still many steps left in the process, the most important of these steps being that we gather as much public input as possible. We still need to collect data and for me, the most important data we can collect is from our residents, particularly here in the Massapequa area. It would be a good thing to see the Massapequa areas stay together because there are a lot of common interests among the Massapequan communities. Everything is subject to what the residents think.”

News

Philip D’Aguanno, 79, of Melville, passed away on Oct. 15. Loving husband of Maria. Devoted Father, father-in-law and grandfather. A funeral mass was held at S.t Kilian R.C. Church. Interment Holy Rood Cemetery. Funeral arrangements entrusted to the McCourt & Trudden Funeral Home, Inc.


The Citizens Campaign for the Environment, a Farmingdale-based advocacy group, recently joined state lawmakers and Massapequa water district officials for a press conference calling on New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign the proposed Navy Grumman Plume Remediation Act (A9492), which has already passed both the state Assembly and Senate, in an effort to protect Long Island’s drinking water and the Great South Bay from the Grumman-U.S. Navy underground plume of toxic chemicals. 


Sports

Nassau County ASA President Keith O’Donnell and Chief Umpire Vincent Donnelly recently presented a $2400 check to Over the Hill Gang President Jim Reilly. The donation will be added to the funds the men’s softball league raised on behalf of Sal Pugliese Jr. as the young boy battles a rare hip disorder. The OTHG would like to thank the ASA for its generous contribution to a fantastic local cause.

—Submitted by the Over the Hill Gang


Farmingdale runners Theresa Gannon, Chris Bartlett, Patty Baker and Jenine Cottone each came home with an award from the Blue Ribbon 10 kilometer and 5 kilometer runs for Prostate Cancer at Syosset-Woodbury Community Park. 


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