The Suffolk County Legislature is set to host its first round of committee meetings on the East End in decades, according to Suffolk County Legislator Al Krupski.
The meetings, which kick off next Monday, come nearly a year after Mr. Krupski first proposed moving some committee meetings to the East End to make it easier for residents on the North and South Fork to participate in local government.
“This is a great victory for residents of the East End,” said Mr. Krupski, who struck the deal in January with the help of South Fork legislator Bridget Fleming and the Legislature’s Presiding Officer, DuWayne Gregory.
“Previously, some of my constituents would have to travel for 90 minutes and up to 60 miles in one direction to speak for three minutes in the committee setting and it is ever more onerous for some South Fork residents,” he continued. “Holding meetings in Riverside will give constituents living on both the North and South Forks the opportunity for better access to the legislative process, a key factor in a functioning democracy.”
Mr. Krupski’s original motion late last April was deadlocked by the Legislature and failed without a majority. Nearly all the legislators who voted against the idea at the time represented districts in the western end of the county; they cited several reasons to oppose the motion, from the inconvenience of moving staff to the cost of added mileage.
The legislative committee meetings will be held at the Maxine Postal Legislative Auditorium in the Evans K. Griffing Building at 300 Center Drive in Riverhead, just west of the Riverside traffic circle.
The full schedule is below:
Monday, May 2:
• Environment, Planning & Agriculture – 10 a.m.
• Seniors & Consumer Protection – 12:30 p.m.
• Public Works, Transportation & Energy – 2 p.m.
Tuesday, May 3:
• Veterans – 9:30 a.m.
• Budget & Finance – 10:30 a.m.
• Education & Human Services – 1 p.m.
Wednesday, May 4
• Government Operations, Personnel, Information Tech & Housing – 10 a.m.
• Parks & Recreation – 12:30 p.m.
• Economic Development – 2 p.m.
Thursday, May 5
• Public Safety – 9:30 a.m.
• Ways & Means – 12:30 p.m.
• Heath – 2 p.m.
More meetings meetings are scheduled to take place in Riverhead in late August.
Photo Caption: Legislators Al Krupski and Bridget Fleming (Courtesy photo).