DISTRICTS FOR ISLIP
On March 7th, 2006,
the Town Board of Islip voted to place a referendum on council
districts, or the "ward" system on the ballot on
for November 7th 2006. Unfortunately,
a vote-no mailing, which contained no information on who was sending
it, reached voters homes the weekend before election day with
a dishonest claim that council districts would cost tax-payers
millions of dollars. The coalition working for reform had no time
to respond to this disinformation, and the referendum was defeated.
Neighborhood Network advocates Council Districts (also known as
the ward system) for Long Island Towns, as an important fundamental
reform of town government. In a Council District system, each
town council member represents a specific geographic area of the
town, and they are elected in single-seat, head-to-head elections.
This is the same way County Legislators, State Assemblymembers,
State Senators, and U.S. Representatives are elected. This system
makes town council members more accountable and more responsive
To bring about systemic
reform, a broad, non-partisan coalition of civic groups, good
government organizations, and editorial boards is support council
districts for Islip.
FILED FOR COUNCIL DISTRICTS REFERENDUM IN ISLIP.
Friday, August 26th, 2005, the Neighborhood Network and a coalition
of Islip citizens filed a petition to place a referundum for the
Council District "ward" system on the ballot in the
Town of Islip. The petition contained the signatures of 5,263
Islip residents, collected by the Neighborhood Network, local
citizens groups, and individuals from Islip. Only 3,420 signatures
are needed to place the question before the voters.
PETITION SIGNATURES FILED
the People Decide
York State law allows citizens of a town to change from an “at
large” system of electing their Town Board, to a council
district or “ward” system, in which each board
member is elected from a specific district that he or she lives
Council Districts help
give voice to political and cultural minorities. Islip has the
largest hispanic population of any New York State Town outside
of New York City, however there has never been a hispanic member
of the Islip Town Council.
Council Districts is
supported by a wide range of citizens' groups, elected officials,
and the Newsday Editorial board. A Newsday
editorial from August 27th, 2004 stated that the current at-large
system "makes it impossible for citizens to hold any one
council member responsible. The at-large system, which requires
costly townwide races, also protects incumbents wherever it exists,
which is why they want to keep it."
a Newsday editorial printed September 2nd, 2004
YOU CAN TAKE ACTION
can do something to make a real change in the way Islip town government
voters in the Town of Islip can help make a change to more responsive
and accountable government voting yes on the
referendum on Election Day November 7, 2006..
The coaltion of organizations
and individuals that support council districts for Islip have
registered a political committee to conduct the vote yes campaign.
Help fund the camaign by sending a contribution to Citizens
to Advance the Ward System in Islip, at:
Citizens to Advance the Ward System in Islip
One East Main Street
Bay Shore, NY 11706
get more information call:
The Neighborhood Network at 631-963-5454