Under a proposed Nassau County legislative redistricting plan proposed by Republicans, the Five Towns would be split into four districts, but local political leaders prefer the status quo.
The Temporary Districting Advisory Commission, empaneled to recommend new district maps consistent with population shifts revealed in the 2010 census, comprises of five Republicans, five Democrats and a non-voting chairman. Instead of devising a single, bipartisan district map, as hoped, the commission offered two, one drawn up by the Democrats and one by Republicans.
The plan offered by the GOP would “move” more than 600,000 county residents into different districts by making significant changes to most districts’ boundary lines. The Democrats’ plan keeps most of the current districts intact, making only the changes they considered necessary to fairly distribute the county’s shifting population among the districts. Their plan would relocate about 25,000 people into new districts.
The County Legislature, which now has 10 Republicans and nine Democrats, has until March 5 to accept one of the redistricting plans, which would take effect for the November 2013 elections.
Inwood Republican Club Leader Frank Mistero said he doesn’t believe the Republican plan would benefit the Five Towns. “I don’t think it’s the right move,” Mistero said. “I’d prefer the Five Towns stay together.” U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks, a Democrat from St. Albans, represents parts of Inwood, and Mistero feels that the area is separate from Nassau County as a result. “We still have access to our congressional officials here in the county,” he said, “but to some degree it has affected us.”