Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Public Hearing on Two Council Redistricting Maps

Share your views at the Montgomery County Redistricting Commission's public hearing at 7 p.m. on Thursday, September 1, in the Third Floor Hearing Room of the Council Office Building. The Commission, which has previously held five public meetings, is working on the once-in-a-decade task of redistricting the five County Council districts.

You can speak at the hearing without signing up in advance. However, those who sign up in advance will be permitted to speak earliest. To sign up, call 240-777-7803.

Commission members Henry Kahwaty and Don Spence have each proposed new maps that will be the focus of the public hearing. The 2010 Census showed significant gains in population in the Germantown and Clarksburg areas in the northern part of the County, both of which are now in District 2. New maps will apportion the County into five districts--each with approximately 194,000 residents. Each of the proposed new maps differ significantly from the current district divisions.

The mission of the Commission (as required by the County Charter) is to recommend five Council district boundaries based upon information provided in the 2010 Census.

The proposals by Commission member Kahwaty (a Republican) and Commission member Spence (a Democrat) each seek to place municipalities in single districts and communities such as Olney, Wheaton and Four Corners in single district. However, each plan takes significantly different approaches on how to achieve balanced districts.

Appointed by the County Council in January 2011, the Commission was tasked to present a redistricting plan and report to the County Council by October 3. Within 30 days after receiving the plan, the Council must hold a public hearing on it. If within 90 days after presentation of the Commission’s plan no other law reestablishing the boundaries of the Council districts has been enacted, then the plan, as submitted, will become law.

The County Charter requires districts to be substantially equal in population, compact, and contiguous. The new districts will be in effect for the 2014 Council election.

For more information and to view the proposed maps, click here.


Cathy Drzyzgula said...

Are the proposed maps available online anywhere?

Cathy Drzyzgula said...

Are the proposed maps available for viewing online anywhere?