The Suffolk County Legislature will hold two cycles of committee meetings at the Riverhead county center this year, under an agreement negotiated by North Fork Legislator Al Krupski and his newly elected South Fork counterpart, Legislator Bridget Fleming.
Krupski and former South Fork legislator Jay Schneiderman fought and lost that battle last year, when a vote to hold two cycles of committee meetings ended in a 9-9 draw, so the resolution failed.
The County Legislature holds five or six general meetings each year at the Evans K. Griffing County Center, which is located in Riverside. But there are numerous committee meetings that consider matters of important concern to East End residents, who currently must travel to Hauppauge to attend them.
Last year, Krupski introduced a procedural motion that would have required the legislature to hold committee meetings in the week preceding a Riverhead general meeting. He then modified his request to require two committee meeting cycles held on the East End.
“This is a step in the right direction,” Krupski said in a press release issued jointly with Fleming today.
“A lot of the work that gets done is done in committee,” Krupski said in an interview last year. “People on the East End are not going to drive to Hauppauge to speak for three minutes at a committee meeting,” he said.
“You try to make government accessible to people as much as possible,” he said. “To drive to Hauppauge is really a disincentive to participate in government.”
“Government works best when the folks who elected us can keep an eye on government and this rule change means that the East End community can provide meaningful input and oversight,” Fleming said in the release.
“I am thankful to Legislator Krupski for his important leadership on this issue and I particularly thank the western legislators for their understanding and support,” Fleming said.
The full 2016 calendar, including committee dates and venues, is expected to post on the Suffolk County Legislature’s website within the next two weeks where it can be viewed by visiting http://legis.suffolkcountyny.gov/schedules.html, according to the legislators’ release.
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