Nassau GOP votes to include Blakeman in designated newspaper choice

Nassau GOP votes to include Blakeman in designated newspaper choice
The Nassau County Legislative building. (Photo by Noah Manskar)

The Nassau County Legislature voted along party lines to change its laws in selecting a county newspaper, which now includes the county executive in the selection process and omits the necessity for bipartisan consensus.

“Now what you’re doing is you’re injecting and inserting the county executive into the process,” Legislator Arnold Drucker (D–Plainview) said.

The Nassau County Legislature, like all government municipalities, votes to select a local newspaper to publish its legal notices. Publishing legal notices in newspapers is a requirement under state law.

The currently designated newspapers are Newsday, New York Law Journal – Nassau Rates, New York Post, The Jewish Week, The Jewish Press, LI Business News, The Jewish Voice and Nassau Lawyer, according to the county website.

The amended law now permits the county executive to recommend newspapers to be designated for publication of county legal notices.

Drucker said the law change “represents a curtailment of the legislature.” He cited New York State laws governing the county that say designating a county newspaper is solely the power of the legislature.

Chris Leimone from Blakeman’s administration denied the accusations that the change represents a “curtailment” since the county executive’s recommendation would still be subject to legislative approval.

“There is a joint process, so to speak,” Lemoine said.

“It’s not joint now,” Drucker said. “As of right now the statute does not make it a joint process. It’s a process solely within the ambit of the legislature, and that’s a change and that’s something that’s not correct.”

Drucker also referenced the county legislature’s 12-7 Republican majority, embarking on a near super-majority.

“Well, we all know how that’s going to turn out,” Drucker said about how the newspaper will be selected.

Nassau County Legislature Minority Leader Delia DeRiggi-Whitton (D–Glen Cove) said the county’s law defining how a county newspaper is designated has been the same as the state’s since 1996.

She cautioned against the amendment and alluded to the potential for a lawsuit challenging it.

“It should be a warning sign for all of us that the county executive is seeking to curtail the Legislature’s clearly delineated powers by needlessly inserting himself into this process and striking language ensuring it remains a bipartisan endeavor,” DeRiggi-Whitton said. “Not only is this another troubling attempt to erode the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches, any curtailment of legislative powers must be subjected to a permissive referendum. That makes today’s vote a recipe for yet another lawsuit targeting the county that taxpayers will end up footing the bill for.”

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