The race for Suffolk County Legislature’s 2nd district has pitted longtime legislator Jay Schneiderman, hoping for a sixth and final term, against Southampton Town Councilman Chris Nuzzi.
Nuzzi has proved a formidable, and often aggressive, foe focusing on the county’s financial stability with often reasonable concerns like the use of one-time revenue sources to plug budget holes and underfunded programs.
That being said, Schneiderman has proved himself a valuable representative on the legislature and in a body dominated by interests in western Suffolk has continued to secure support for projects that benefit the South Fork each year he has held office.
This year alone there have been a number of Schneiderman’s initiatives that have caught our eye, namely forcing county vector control to take a closer look at tick borne illnesses and begin to create a comprehensive plan to deal with this very real public health crisis. Forward thinking ideas like banning the use of methoprene, a biochemical pesticide that is toxic to estuarine invertebrates, to combat mosquitoes in county estuaries is another bill that has yet to pass but that we certainly support.
As we continue to have conversations about how we can protect our greatest resources on Long Island — our bays and estuaries — it would seem this would be one of the small, logical, steps we could take forward.
Schneiderman also should be credited for looking for solutions when a badly needed sidewalk and drainage project on the Bridgehampton/Sag Harbor Turnpike proved dangerous for migrating turtles. A New York State Department of Environmental Conservation approved project that cost $1.1 million, Schneiderman had the department of public works go back to the drawing board, installing slanted curbing on portions of the turnpike. When that was still problematic for environmentalists who were concerned smaller turtles were still unable to make the ascent up the curbs, Schneiderman called public works again, installing asphalt inclines on the turnpikes to ensure migration was not impeded. This kind of constituent service should be expected of a county legislator and Schneiderman certainly delivered in this case.
Ultimately, while Nuzzi has been a strong candidate — and one we expect to see in the future — we have little reason not to support Schneiderman for a final term in office and encourage residents to support his candidacy come November 5.