State legislators responded to by revising a New York Assembly redistricting map that, if adopted, will keep the two forks represented by two different elected officials.
A , in response to the 2010 U.S. Census, had called for Shelter Island, Southold, Southampton and East Hampton towns to all be included in the new First Assembly District. Riverhead - which currently shares Assemblyman Dan Losquadro, R-Shoreham, with Southold and Shelter Island - was to be represented with points west, up to Mt. Sinai Harbor, in the Second A.D.
Losquadro was not immediately available for comment, though he had previously pushed for one contiguous North Shore representative.
"I think the North Fork is better served by being contiguous with the North Shore as far as representation goes," Losquadro said in January. "Shelter Island has its own unique set of issues and could be served by either the North or South Fork, but the issues are different between the two forks. For one, the North Fork has a much higher rate of primary homeownership than the South Fork. And the North Fork has a much larger agricultural sector than the South Fork."
The revised plan swaps Shelter Island into the Second A.D., keeping Southold and Riverhead together.
said that the North Fork would lose influence in Albany and a voice for its interests if it has to share its assemblyman with the South Fork.
, I-Sag Harbor, said the New York State Legislature will consider the revised plan this week.
Thiele is currently the assemblyman for the Second District, with 142,833 residents, which includes Southampton and East Hampton towns and a portion of southeast Brookhaven Town. If the redistricting plan is adopted as currently proposed, he will lose 16,000 Brookhaven residents from his constituency and gain all of Shelter Island Town. The new First District would have 128,932 residents, just 157 less than the average.
According to Losquadro, the first A.D. is currently the most populous in the state, hovering near 150,000. According to 2010 census numbers, each district should have 129,809 residents.
Thiele said he was pleased that the redistricting task force listened to public opinion.
Do you agree that the Twin Forks are better served in two different Assembly districts? Leave your thoughts in a comment below.