New Plan: Forks Will Remain in Separate Districts

North Fork and South Fork will continue to each have its own state assemblyman.

Following an outcry from some in Southold and Riverhead, the North Fork and South Fork will remain in separate New York State Assembly districts under a revised redistricting plan.

The redistricting plan unveiled in January, 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. But 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.

Thiele said that in the late 1980s, when he was a Suffolk County legislator, his legislative district included Shelter Island. "I have continued to work with Shelter Island on many regional issues and look forward to representing them
again," he said.

The revised district would be 73.1 percent White, 18.4 percent Hispanic, 4.8 percent African-American, 1.4 percent Asian and 0.7 percent American-Indian, according to Thiele's office.

Southold would remain in a district with northeast Brookhaven and Riverhead. 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.

Richard Blumenthal March 12, 2012 at 07:40 PM
I guess Mr. Thiele saw his incumbent advantage slipping away when the original plan was announced and the North Fork denounced.
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