Newly proposed redistricting lines by Republicans would carve out Kings Point from the Great Neck peninsula, positioning it with a slice of Port Washington.
A public hearing on a new legislative district map will be held Thursday at Legislative Chambers, 1550 Franklin Avenue, Mineola, at 6 p.m.
The new proposed lines has some Democratic leaders up in arms, as the map, if approved, may help Republicans gain an electoral advantage.
“The map as proposed seems to violate many issues, constitutional and otherwise, including compactness,” said Leg. Wayne Wink, D-Roslyn, whose district currently includes Port Washington.
“The stringing together of disparate communities and the gerrymandering of districts reeks of political opportunism,” he added. “Splitting even a small portion of Port Washington and Plandome Manor, which shares the Port Washington School District, from the rest of the peninsula is a cynical attempt to maximize Republican control of the County Legislature at all costs, without regard to the will of the people. As this redistricting process plays itself out, I will fight to keep all of Port Washington whole in a single district of common interests.”
Republicans, however, maintain that the proposed map is fair. Frank Moroney, who chairs Nassau’s advisory redistricting commission, told Newsday that the “Republican commissioners took a fresh look at the county.”
He added, “"Obviously people will find holes they want to poke in it. Every time you give someone something, somebody else loses something."
Still, some say the areas should remain separate.
Andrew DeMartin, North Hempstead's commissioner of public safety, told examiner.com that “there is great diversity between Port Washington peninsula and Great Neck peninsula."
DeMartin, who is also commissioner of the Manhasset Lakeville Fire and Water District, added, “Combining those two areas does injustice to representatives of those areas, and injustice to the people they should be representing. We should retain the autonomy – which we had.”
Bob Weitzner, mayor of Port Washington North, agreed.
"The late Barbara Johnson, Craig Johnson to Wayne Wink, each always ha[s] been thoroughly familiar with the character of peninsula – having a representative who has the experience and institutional knowledge is essential for long-term vibrancy of Port Washington," he told examiner.com. "We need and continue to need one voice who can be articulate, not watered down or diluted to issues involving other areas. We are asking the commission to please keep our lines intact. If it's not broken, don’t fix."
As reported on Newsday, according to the county charter, the advisory commission is to submit proposed legislative boundaries by Jan. 5 after holding public hearings.
Meanwhile the Democratic Commissioners have also proposed a redistricting map, which would keep Kings Point with Great Neck. As Moroney told examiner.com, both the Democrats and Republicans were "given a $200,000 [b]udget so each could independently develop a plan."
Read more about the proposed redistricting.