Redistricting Plan Said To ‘Disenfranchise’ Eldersburg
Del. Susan Krebs is fighting the proposed legislative redistricting plan, which moves a majority of Eldersburg and Sykesville to Howard County.
Gov. Martin O’Malley presented his proposed map this week to the president of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Delegates, setting forth the boundaries of the legislative districts for electing members of the Senate and the House of Delegates.
But the map, according to Del. Susan Krebs, R-District 9, puts Carroll County at a disadvantage.
The proposed map cuts the number of resident delegates from four down to three, a number that is unrealistic based on the population, according to Krebs.
“The Governor’s Redistricting Advisory Committee proposal for legislative redistricting will disenfranchise roughly a quarter of Carroll County voters who will no longer have a delegate that resides in their community,” said Krebs.
The proposed districts would take the fourth delegate district in Carroll County and cross county borders into Howard County.
It moves the Town of Sykesville into a Howard County district and splits the Eldersburg Census Designated Place boundaries in half along Route 26, putting half the 26,062 population into a new three-member Carroll County District and half in a Howard County District across the Patapsco River.
“This proposal leaves two of our largest growth areas the Eldersburg and Sykesville area and Mount Airy represented by delegates from other counties and no resident senator or delegate from Carroll County,” said Krebs.
In a letter outlining the Carroll County Reapportionment and Redistricting, Krebs looks at some of the institutions and businesses that would fall in the Howard County District under the new map:
- Town of Sykesville
- Sykesville Freedom District Fire Department
- Springfield Hospital Center
- Warfield Commerce Center
- Shoemaker Long Term Residential Drug Treatment Facility
- Carroll County Long Term Drug Treatment Facility
- Public Safety Education and Training Center
- State Police Cadet Training Program
- State Police Driver Training Center
- Department of General Services Headquarters
- Fairhaven Retirement Community
- Copper Ridge Outpatient and Residential Care
- Episcopal Ministries to the Aging Headquarters
- Freedom Park
- Central Maryland Correctional Facility
“Past experience shows us the challenges for a legislator to represent two different counties,” said Krebs in her letter asking for the map to retain four resident delegates in Carroll County.
“Our population easily supports this reapportionment and it gives due regard to political boundaries including our two municipalities.”
The Sykesville Town Council agreed with Krebs following her presentation on the topic at its Jan. 9 meeting, sending a letter to O'Malley this week stating their disapproval of the plan, according to an article by Explore Carroll.
If the state legislature does not successfully pass a joint resolution to redraw the state legislative lines within 45 days, the governor's proposed plan becomes law.