The New York State Legislature has signed off on new assembly district lines that cut some of southeast Brookhaven out of the South Fork's district but adds Shelter Island, according to Assemblyman Fred W. Thiele.
An earlier iteration of the plan would have included less of Brookhaven in the new First District, and all of Southold Town. But Southold officials opposed sharing an assemblyman with the South Fork, worrying that North Fork interests would not be adequately represented in Albany. The state task force that drafted the new districts maps in response to the criticism, leaving each fork with its own representative.
Thiele, I-Sag Harbor, currently represents the Second Assembly District but — if he secures re-election in November — will represent the new First Assembly District, come 2013.
The new South Fork district will have a population of 128,932, 157 less than the average district, according to Thiele's office.
About 16,000 Brookhaven Town residents will be cut out of the district.
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.
Thiele noted that the State Legislature also voted in favor of a constitutional amendment to create an independent, nonpartisan redistricting process for the future.
"It was disappointing that this year's process was not the product of such an
independent process," Thiele is quoted as saying in a statement from his office. "However, the proposed constitutional amendment, if ultimately approved by the voters, will insure that all future redistricting plans are prepared by an independent, nonpartisan commission."