Panel To Present Redistricting Plan--with Objections

October 07, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

When the Charter Revision Commission presents its redistricting planto the County Council tonight, three of the commission's five members will offer dissenting opinions.

The commission voted, 4-1, last month to recommend a seven-district plan to the Council. But three commission members have concerns they want the council to consider.

Commission Chairman Robert D. Agee will ask the council to consider increasing the number of council districts to nine. Agee also willask the council to put off a final decision until next spring, when the state redraws General Assembly district lines, creating new precincts.

Commission member Mark Anderson, who opposed the commission's plan, will present an alternative seven-district plan.

Member Dallas Evans will propose creating a smaller district in Annapolis to increase minority representation in the district.

The only members content with seven districts -- Harold Counihan and Muriel Carter -- once favored a nine-district plan.

Council members will listen to the commission's presentation and ask questions, said council Chairwoman Virginia Clagett, D-West River. The council will conduct a publichearing on the plan at a later date.

"We should probably not messup and do this quickly," Clagett said. "We have until next summer todo this."

Clagett said she didn't think there was much support for a nine-member council. "I can see there are some reasons for nine, but I'm not too sure I'm comfortable with it," she said.

The commission has been working since June to redraw County Council district boundaries based on population changes recorded in the 1990 census.

In August, commission members voted, 3-2, in favor of a nine-district plan. But after 200 residents opposed the plan at a public hearing,the commission dropped the nine-district proposal.

The map the commission will present tonight would keep the communities of Shipley'sChoice and Berrywood with Severna Park in District 5, represented byDiane Evans, R-Arnold. Previous maps had removed Berrywood from the district, drawing opposition from Severna Park residents.

However,the plan moves two precincts in the Lower Broadneck peninsula that are currently part of District 5 into the Annapolis-area district across the Severn River, despite requests from Broadneck residents that they remain where they are.

The proposal increases the minority representation of an Annapolis-area district from 21.6 percent to 23.3 percent.

Crofton would be moved out of a district with South Countyand placed in a district with Maryland City, a move South County residents had requested but some Crofton residents opposed.

The plan puts most of Severn in one district, but leaves three Severn precincts in other districts, drawing opposition from that community. The Greater Severn Improvement Association had submitted its own plan, but commission members rejected it last week because it would have dividedGlen Burnie.

Anderson opposes the majority plan because of the Lower Broadneck and Crofton changes. His plan would place Shipley's Choice in a West County district and leave Crofton in South County. It would leave Berrywood and Lower Broadneck in District 5.

In other action, the council:

* Will consider a bill that would require innkeepers to keep records of guests and give the information to police on request.

County Executive Robert R. Neall proposed the bill to track down drug dealers working from hotels.

* Will consider a billproposed by Councilman George Bachman, D-Linthicum, requiring massage parlors, managers and technicians to be licensed by the Department of Inspections and Permits.

It would make it illegal for masseusesto work on members of the opposite sex or to touch "erogenous areas," and would require clients to cover these parts of the body during the massage.

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