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Ossining Upset Over New Senate District Lines

OSSINING, N.Y. – Village of Ossining Mayor William Hanauer called it “disgraceful.” Assembly member Sandy Galef, D-Ossining, called it “a disservice” to voters.

Nevertheless, the New York Senate and Assembly majorities passed a redistricting plan last week that places the village and town of Ossining into the 38th Senate District with Ramapo, Clarkstown and Orangetown in Rockland County. Ossining officials held a press conference recently to unite in opposition to the plan, but Hanauer said Saturday that the effort was fruitless.

“What a disgraceful, patently political, in the worst sense, and cynical job of gerrymandering and backroom horse-trading this redistricting is,” Hanauer said. “(It’s) a sign the bad old days are still with us.”

Hanauer added that Ossining officials must now work together with Rockland and Westchester officials.

“We’re going to have to get them to support our needs, and in turn we need to support theirs,” Hanauer said. “It just doubles the work and probably doubles the cost. Right now we have Westchester representation in that we have constant access and immediate access to our current senator. Will that be true of a senator from Rockland County? I don’t know. I certainly hope so, but I think the odds are against it.”

Ossining is currently in District 37, represented by Sen. Suzi Oppenheimer, D-Mamaroneck. District 38 is represented by Sen. David Carlucci, D-Clarkstown.

Galef said via e-mail this week, “I voted against the new state legislative redistricting plan created by the Task Force on Demographic Research and Reapportionment because it was a disservice to the voters in the Town and Village of Ossining and Village of Briarcliff Manor . The new 38th Senate District was clearly gerrymandered to encompass a small fraction of Westchester County with a district that has historically included only Rockland County.”

Hanauer said he thanked Galef and all of the other Assembly members who voted against the plan.

“It’s clear they were listening to our needs, and I thank them for that,” he said. “Now we need to look toward working with (our representation) as well as we can."

Hanauer added that was disappointed after hearing that Gov. Andrew Cuomo would not veto the plan, as he had previously stated.

“I don’t know what else to say but it’s disappointing,” Hanauer said.

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