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County bill to reduce size of Legislature stalls

COURTESY PHOTO | Legislators Al Krupski D_Cutchogue), who represents the North Fork, and Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac) who represents Shelter Island..

COURTESY PHOTO | Legislators Al Krupski D-Cutchogue), who represents the North Fork, and Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac), who represents Shelter Island..

A vote on a bill to let the public vote on reducing the size of the Suffolk County Legislature from 18 members to 13 appears unlikely.

The Legislature’s ways and means committee voted last Thursday to have the proposal “tabled subject to call.”

“You probably won’t see this being considered by the [full] Legislature,” said Legislator Bridget Fleming (D-Noyac), chairperson of that committee. Ms. Fleming represents Shelter Island.

The bill was first introduced last November and has been tabled several times at committee. Now that it is “subject to call,” a majority of the seven committee members would need to vote in favor of placing it back on the agenda. Ms. Fleming said only one member of the committee supports the bill.

“There wasn’t an appetite on the committee at this time to approve it for consideration by the full Legislature,” she said.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty said he was “delighted” with the bill stalling in committee.

“Shelter Island will continue to enjoy the effective representation of Bridget Fleming, and Shelter Island and the entire East End will continue to have Bridget and Al Krupski tirelessly advocating and defending the East End’s interests in Hauppauge,” Mr. Dougherty said.

Mr. Krupski (D-Cutchogue) represents the North Fork in the Legislature.

Legislator Bill Lindsay III (D-Bohemia) proposed the bill in November and estimated in December that it would save $4.5 million. “We have reached the point where we cannot add any further burden on the taxpayers, and in order to make up the difference, some services, including the Legislature, need to be consolidated to allow for taxpayer dollars to be invested back into the community,” Mr. Lindsay said at the time. “Our residents pay for 18 legislators to receive a $100,000 a year salary, 18 individual district offices with two county centers, other benefits of a county car and cellphone and other incentives that come at the taxpayers’ expense.”

Five residents spoke at a pair of December public hearings on the measure, with four of them opposed to shrinking the size of the Legislature.