The Suffolk County Legislature this week approved its new map for legislative districts, all but ensuring the new districts will be made official in time for the 2012 election.
The legislature voted 11-5 on Tuesday to change the map, despite some opposition from locals on how the new district lines slice some communities in half.
For example, along the town line between Smithtown and Islip. Hauppauge is served entirely by Legislator John Kennedy today, but the changes would place the Islip part of the community in Legislator Tom Climi's constituency.
It's a move Ronald Barz, former chief of the Hauppauge Fire District, stands against.
"The only true voice we have in the whole community is the 12th legislative district. We have had it. We are tired. We are being split, torn apart by two different towns, and the only voice we have is the legislative district," Barz said.
The new map also splits the Shoreham area.
North by South Fork
A passenger ferry set to run between Greenport and Sag Harbor , clearing the waters for this new service to start running within a month.
The ferry will hold 53 people and will cost $11 for a one-way trip and $20 for a round-trip ticket per passenger. The county hopes the new ferry will boost visitor traffic to each community.
However, residents on both sides of the Peconic Bay are worried that more congestion to an already busy summer in each bayside community.
County Enacts Twilight Beach Fees
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone this week established a $4 fee for cars visiting , and County beaches to help raise cash for a county battling a major budget deficit.
The fees would apply for visitors after 5 p.m.
The move set off East End supervisors and lawmakers, .
"Basically, the county has instituted a door charge," said County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, also noting that the fee only applies to three of the county's South Shore, East End beaches, not any other county beach.
The mayors of both Westhampton Beach and West Hampton Dunes are also crying foul.
“Imposing fees at the last minute, without any public comment or review just as children are finishing with school and the summer is about to begin is unfortunate," said Gary Vegliante, the mayor of West Hampton Dunes, in a statement.
Bellone's office did not return calls for a comment.
County Paying Less in Overtime
Facing fiscal troubles, Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone this week said the county has $6.2 million less in overtime so far this year compared to the same period in 2011.
In all overtime fell from $22.4 million in the January to June period in 2011 compared to $16.2 million in 2012, a 28 percent drop.