Nassau County, New York

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There is also a Town of Nassau in Rensselaer County.
Nassau County, New York
Image:Nassau County ny seal.gif
Image:Map of New York highlighting Nassau County.png
Location in the state of New York
Formed 1899
Seat Mineola
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

1,173 km² (453 mi²)
743 km² (287 mi²)
431 km² (166 mi²), 36.72%
 - (2000)
 - Density


Nassau County is a suburban county in the New York Metropolitan Area east of New York City in the U.S. state of New York. As of the United States Census, 2000, the population was 1,334,544. The name of the county comes from an old name for Long Island, which was at one time named Nassau, after William of Nassau, Prince of Orange (who later became King William III of England.) The county colors, orange and blue, are also the colors of the House of Orange. Nassau County's county seat is Mineola.

Nassau and Suffolk counties together are generally referred to as "Long Island" by area residents — as distinct from the New York City boroughs of Queens (Queens County) and Brooklyn (Kings County), which physically make up the island's westernmost end.

As of 2004, Nassau County is the richest county per capita in the State of New York and the sixth richest in the nation, with a median household income of $78,762.<ref>America's richest and poorest places - 20 richest and poorest: the most affluent counties are in the East, but western cities score well,, August 31, 2005</ref> As of 2005, Nassau had the second highest median property tax in the nation at $7,025.<ref>Suburbs Near NYC Have Highest Tax Bills, Newsday, October 4, 2006</ref>


[edit] History

Nassau County was originally the eastern half of Queens County, when New York was divided into 12 counties in 1683. The area was originally contained in two towns: Hempstead and Oyster Bay. During the American Revolutionary War, the town of Hempstead was split into two, when Patriots in the northern part formed the new Town of North Hempstead, leaving Loyalist majorities in the Town of Hempstead. Following the 1898 formation of the City of Greater New York, the part of Queens County that was not annexed to New York City, consisting of the two towns of North Hempstead and Oyster Bay and most of the town of Hempstead (excluded was the Rockaway Peninsula, which did join Greater New York), was constituted as the new Nassau County, but not until 1899, one year later. Several other names had been considered: Matinecock (note that a village in the county currently has that name), Norfolk, (presumably because of the proximity to Suffolk County), Bryant, and Sagamore, but Nassau had the historical advantage of having at one time been the name of Long Island itself.

In 1910 (some sources state 1918), The Village of Glen Cove became a city and seceded from the Town of Oyster Bay.

In 1918, the Village of Long Beach was incorporated in the Town of Hempstead. In 1922, it became a city and seceded from the Town.

The United Nations Security Council was temporarily located in Nassau County from 1946 to 1951 -- at the Sperry Gyroscope headquarters in the village of Lake Success near the border with Queens County. It was here on June 27, 1950 that the Security Council voted to back U.S. President Harry S. Truman and send a coalition of forces to the Korean Peninsula, thus kicking off the Korean War.

During the latter part of the 20th Century, Nassau County saw an influx of migrants from the five boroughs of New York City, especially Brooklyn and Queens, who left their urban dwellings for a more suburban setting. This led to a massive boom in population in the county, especially on the south shore. In 1947, William Levitt built his first planned community in Nassau County, in the Island Trees section (later renamed Levittown). (This should not be confused with the county's first planned community, in general, which is Garden City). In later decades, communities such as Wantagh, East Meadow, Massapequa, Massapequa Park, and Franklin Square began to grow.

In the 1990s, Nassau County saw huge budget problems, forcing the county to near bankruptcy. The county government increased taxes to prevent a takeover by the state of New York. This has led to the county having notoriously high property taxes, leaving some migrants from New York City who are seeking suburban life to move to Suffolk County, Hudson Valley, New Jersey or Pennsylvania.

In recent years Nassau County has recovered from its economic malaise of the 1990s. Since 2000, housing prices on Long Island have been the highest in the country. The economy has been booming and according to the United States Census Bureau, residents of Nassau County have among the highest per capita wealth in the country. Nassau County has also experienced heavy urbanization in many areas, such as Hempstead, Freeport, Mineola, and Westbury, leading some to say that some parts of the county resemble the outer boroughs of New York City rather than a suburb of it, though the Five Towns region tends to be more affluent than western Queens. The northern "Gold Coast" region tends to more closely resemble nearby Westchester County.

[edit] Law and Government

The head of the executive is the County Executive, a post created in Nassau County in 1938. The current county executive is Thomas Suozzi, a Democrat who elected in 2001; he is the first Democratic county executive since Eugene Nickerson left office in 1970. The District Attorney is Democrat Kathleen Rice, who in November, 2005 defeated 30-year incumbent Republican Denis Dillon in an upset victory. The county comptroller is Howard Weitzman, a Democrat, the county clerk is Republican Maureen O'Connell, and the county assessor is Harvey Levinson, another Democrat.

Nassau County Executives
Name Party Term
J. Russell Sprague Republican 1938–1953
A. Holly Patterson Republican 1953–1962
Eugene Nickerson Democrat 1962–1970
Ralph G. Caso Republican 1970–1978
Francis T. Purcell Republican 1978–1987
Thomas Gulotta Republican 1987–2001
Thomas Suozzi Democrat 2001–Present

The county legislature has 19 members. There are tenDemocrats, nine Republicans.

Nassau County Legislature
District Legislator Party
1 Kevan Abrahams Democrat
2 Roger Corbin Democrat
3 John Ciotti Republican
4 Denise Ford Republican
5 Joseph Scannell Democrat
6 Francis X. Becker, Jr. Republican
7 Jeffrey Toback Democrat
8 Vincent Muscarella Republican
9 Richard Nicolello Republican
10 Lisanne Altmann Democrat
11 Craig Johnson Democratic
12 Peter J. Schmitt Republican
13 Norma L. Gonsalves Republican
14 Dave Mejias Democrat
15 Dennis Dunne, Sr. Republican
16 Judith Jacobs Democrat
17 Edward Mangano Republican
18 Diane Yatauro Democrat
19 [1] David Denenberg Democrat

[edit] Law enforcement

County police services are provided by the Nassau County Police Department. The cities of Glen Cove and Long Beach, as well as a number of villages, such as Garden City, Rockville Centre and Lake Success, are not members of the county police district and maintain their own police forces. These smaller forces, however, make use of such specialized county police services as the police academy and the aviation unit. Also, all homicides are investigated by the county police.

More recently, village leaders in the county seat of Mineola have expressed dissatisfaction with the level of police coverage provided by the county force and are actively exploring seceding from the police district and having the village form its own police force. A referendum has been scheduled for Dec. 5, 2006. <ref>Board of Trustees Rejects Bids for Police Study: Public Will Get to Vote on Possible Mineola Police This Year, Mineola American, August 18, 2006</ref>

The Northern State Parkway and the Southern State Parkway are patrolled by Troop L of the New York State Police. In the late 1990s, the Long Island Rail Road Police Department was consolidated into the Metropolitan Transportation Authority Police.

County correctional services, as well as enforcement of court orders, are provided by the Nassau County Sheriff's Department.

[edit] Politics

Presidential elections results
Year GOP Dems
2004 46.6% 288,355 52.2% 323,070
2000 38.5% 226,954 57.9% 341,610
1996 36.1% 196,820 55.7% 303,587
1992 40.5% 246,881 46.4% 282,593
1988 57.0% 337,430 42.2% 250,130
1984 61.8% 392,017 38.0% 240,697
1980 56.0% 333,567 34.8% 207,602
1976 53.7% 329,176 47.6% 302,869
1972 63.3% 438,723 36.5% 252,831
1968 51.3% 329,792 43.3% 278,599
1964 39.4% 248,886 60.5% 382,590
1960 55.1% 324,255 44.8% 263,303
1956 69.0% 372,358 30.9% 166,646
1952 69.9% 305,900 29.8% 130,267
1948 70.1% 184,284 26.8% 70,492

Like its neighbor Suffolk County, the county was for many years politically controlled by the Republican Party. In the 1990s, it began to swing Democratic. Democrat Bill Clinton won the county in presidential elections of 1992 and 1996. Later Nassau voters gave a large margin of victory to Al Gore in 2000 (57.9% to 38.5%) but John Kerry won in 2004 by a slimmer margin (52.2% to 46.6%) : in that election, Kerry won the towns of Hempstead and North Hempstead , but lost the town of Oyster Bay.

Democratic strength is mainly concentrated in the central part of the county, near the Village of Hempstead and Uniondale, where there is a large African American and Hispanic population. Also, the wealthy northern half of the county, with the exception of parts of Manhasset, is heavily Democratic. This includes Great Neck, Glen Cove and Roslyn. There are also pockets of staunch Democrats in the Five Towns area in the southwest part of the county and in Long Beach.

Republicans are mainly concentrated in the more suburban areas of the county. The middle class southeastern portion of the county is heavily Republican and communities such as Massapequa, Seaford, Wantagh, Levittown, and Bethpage are the political base of Congressman Peter T. King. In the western portion of the county, wealthy Garden City is solidly Republican, as is the more middle-class community of Franklin Square.

The politically volatile areas of the county are in Farmingdale, East Meadow, Mineola, Oceanside and Rockville Centre.

Long Island's only Republican member of Congress, Representative Peter T. King is from Nassau County. His district includes heavily populated suburban neighborhoods like Massapequa, Levittown, Hicksville, and Glen Cove, but Nassau County is also home to the popular gun-control advocate, Democrat Carolyn McCarthy, whose district includes Garden City, Hempstead, Valley Stream and Rockville Centre. McCarthy defeated Republican congressman Dan Frisa in 1996 and has held on to her seat since. Nassau County's other two congressmen are both Democrats. Representative Gary Ackerman, represents the northwestern part of the county, including Great Neck, Sands Point, and Port Washington. Steve Israel's district is mainly in Suffolk County, but also includes parts of Plainview, Old Bethpage, Jericho, Syosset, and Woodbury in Nassau County.

All of Nassau County's (As well as Suffolk County's) state senators are Republicans, which is largely the reason the state senate is still in GOP hands.

[edit] Geography

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 1,173 km² (453 mi²). 743 km² (287 mi²) of it is land and 431 km² (166 mi²) of it (36.72%) is water.

Nassau County occupies a portion of Long Island immediately east of New York City, in the southeastern portion of New York State. It is divided into

[edit] Adjacent Counties

[edit] Demographics

As of the census² of 2000, there were 1,334,544 people, 447,387 households, and 347,172 families residing in the county. The population density was 1,797/km² (4,655/mi²). There were 458,151 housing units at an average density of 617/km² (1,598/mi²). The racial makeup of the county was 79.30% White, 10.09% African American, 0.16% Native American, 4.73% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 3.57% from other races, and 2.12% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.99% of the population. There is a small Sikh population in Nassau County which is evident by two Sikh Gurdwaras or temples; one in Plainview and the other in Glen Cove.

According to the Census Bureau, the population of the county has slightly increased to 1,339,641 people in 2004.

Some main European ancestries in Nassau County as of 2000: 27.52% Italian, 17.43% Irish, 13.20% German and 3.07% English. According to the above statistics, Nassau County is now one of the most Italian-American counties in the USA. Many middle-class Italian families have moved from "Little Italy" neighborhoods in New York City to suburban areas.

There were 447,387 households out of which 35.30% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.10% were married couples living together, 10.90% had a female householder with no husband present, and 22.40% were non-families. 18.80% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.40% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.34.

In the county the population was spread out with 24.70% under the age of 18, 7.30% from 18 to 24, 28.90% from 25 to 44, 24.00% from 45 to 64, and 15.00% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 92.80 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.00 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $72,030, and the median income for a family was $81,246. Males had a median income of $52,340 versus $37,446 for females. The per capita income for the county was $32,151. About 3.50% of families and 5.20% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.80% of those under age 18 and 5.60% of those age 65 or over.

[edit] Colleges and universities

Nassau county is home to numerous colleges and universities, including Hofstra University, Adelphi University, Molloy College, Briarcliffe College, New York Institute of Technology, SUNY Old Westbury, Nassau Community College, and C. W. Post Campus of Long Island University.

[edit] Adjacent counties

[edit] References


[edit] See also

[edit] External links

Nassau County, New York

County Seat



Hempstead · North Hempstead · Oyster Bay


Glen Cove · Long Beach

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Nassau County, New York

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