County Legislator Jay Schneiderman, of Montauk, has been chosen at the Suffolk Legislature’s deputy presiding officer, second to new Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory, of Amityville.
Schneiderman is an Independence Party member who caucuses with the Democrats for a 12-6 majority in the Legislature. The majority caucus voted unanimously for both Gregory and Schneiderman at a December 20 meeting then made their decision official at the Legislature’s annual organizational meeting January 2, the first business day of the year.
Scheiderman, who serves the South Fork, was re-elected in November for his sixth and final two-year term, defeating challenger Chris Nuzzi, of Westhampton Beach, with 60 percent of the vote. He is now the longest serving member of the Legislature and, by virtue of his longevity, he chaired the organizational meeting.
As the deputy, Schneiderman assumes the presiding officer’s responsibilities in the event of his absence. He is the first member of the Independence Party to hold leadership at the county level.
“I would like to thank my colleagues for this great opportunity,” Schneiderman said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Presiding Officer DuWayne Gregory and the county executive towards a proactive agenda and to be a strong voice for Suffolk County.”
Schneiderman’s office said his priorities over the next two years are mental health issues, poverty, public transportation and fiscal issues, as well as environmental concerns such as improving water quality and reducing incidents of Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses.