FARMINGVILLE, NY — Brookhaven City Council will now be tasked with redrawing voting lines in the six city council districts where there has been controversy over gerrymandering in neighborhoods with people of color.
The move comes after the city’s eight-member bipartisan redistricting committee, previously tasked with redistricting, held several votes but could not reach an agreement — with the required six votes — on how districts in the advice will be withdrawn.
Committee co-chairman Ali Nazir, a Republican, informed the board this week in writing that the committee had agreed to meet with him and co-chairman Rabia Aziz, a Democrat, to see if there could be a deal, but the two could not compromise and “agreed that further discussion would be futile”.
“As a result, we will not be able to complete our mission and submit a redistricting plan proposal for City Council approval,” Nazir wrote, adding that committee lawyer Vincent Messina will send “all relevant documents to the committee as soon as possible”. possible.”
Nazir then thanked the board for the opportunity to work on the committee.
“I hope the committee materials will be helpful to City Council in adopting a redistricting plan for the Town of Brookhaven,” he concluded.
Aziz told Newsday, “At this point, I don’t see anything that we [Democrats] could have done.”
Nazir’s announcement came after a Monday night meeting in which a Republican card failed 5-3 and two Democratic-backed cards failed 3-5, the outlet reported.
The city must adopt new council district lines by Dec. 15, Newsday reported.
Recent Federal Census data shows that the populations of Council Districts 2 and 6 are skewed to the other four, meaning they are not within 5% of about 81,000 people, or about one sixth of the city’s population of 475,000, requiring redistricting, according to the outlet.
Residents and community leaders complained that the redistricting was flawed in that it would divide some neighborhoods and split some minority communities between three or more districts, the outlet reported.
In a statement to Patch, Supervisor Ed Romaine said that because the committee was unable to agree on the proposed lines, “it is now up to City Council to make any appropriate and necessary revisions to the boundaries of all districts of the council, in accordance with the provisions of municipal, state and federal laws.”
The city council has a 6-1 Republican majority.
Its members will use U.S. census information and electoral districts determined by the Suffolk County Board of Elections to revise the boundaries, according to Romaine.
The council’s goal is to make the new neighborhoods practical, contiguous and as compact as possible, but also to reduce the number of hamlets spread across the neighborhoods of multiple council members and to have “substantially equal populations with the least d possible deviation and contain clear and easily identifiable limits.
Romaine thanked the committee for their work, thanking them for having carried out “an important work which produced essential information for this process of redistribution”.
“Through more than a dozen public meetings, held in all six council districts and livestreamed for all residents to see, they made it an open, transparent and public process,” he said. he declares. “Many residents attended these meetings, expressing their concerns, recommendations and suggestions, which were covered by the media.”
Romaine concluded by thanking the committee, noting that the city now has “many comments from individuals, civic associations, and other groups that we will strive to incorporate into a final map where possible.”