A plan to create a new House of Delegates seat in Southern Anne Arundel failed last night, as the county's Senate delegation came to loggerheads over the boundaries of the three North County districts.
The county's delegation to the Maryland legislature has until today tosubmit a plan to reorganize Anne Arundel's four legislative districts using the 1990 Census. Each district is represented by a senator and three delegates.
Because the county's population has grown slightly, Delegate JohnGary, R-Millersville, had proposed redrawing the boundaries of a single-member district, represented by Delegate George Owings, D-CalvertCounty, to give South County residents the majority vote.
Gary, who proposed the plan Monday but was unable to attend last night, saidthat majority would allow South County residents to send one of their own to the State House.
However, the plan was killed last night,as Sen. Michael J. Wagner, D-Ferndale, and Senate Minority Leader John Cade, R-Severna Park, struggled to redraw the boundaries of their own districts as well.
Wagner wanted two Glen Burnie precincts, which were shifted into Cade's territory 10 years ago, returned to his district. Under Wagner's plan, Cade would pick up a Fort Meade precinct, including Pioneer City and Meade Heights.
"All I wanted was torestore it to the way it was," Wagner said.
Cade balked, saying, "The only thing you want to give up is Pioneer City? The hell with that."
Instead, he proposed unifying Severna Park by taking three precincts on the eastern side of Ritchie Highway from Sen. Philip C. Jimeno, D-Brooklyn Park.
The Senate delegation continued talking, but had yet to reach an agreement on unifying the community by 9 p.m. Sen. Gerald Winegrad, D-Annapolis, said he believed a compromise couldbe reached.
"I'm still hopeful we can sit down and work this out," he said.
Meanwhile, the House of Delegates contingent endorsed aplan, 9-1, that restores two Glen Burnie precincts to District 32, which includes Linthicum, Jessup and the rest of Glen Burnie. Those two precincts, which formed a fingerlike peninsula, were added 10 yearsago to Cade's district, which includes Crofton, Davidsonville and part of Severna Park.
The finger, which includes the home of Wagner ally Tom Riggin,had been taken out of the district at the request of former Sen. H. Erle Schafer.
"It's obvious those two precincts were carved out with a plan in mind," Wagner said. "They were taken out for no other reason than Tom Riggin lived there."
The House plan also shifted the Fort Meade precinct, including Pioneer City and MeadeHeights, to District 33.
Delegate Elizabeth Smith, R-Davidsonville, opposed, saying she wouldn't feel safe campaigning in Pioneer City.
After today, a committee appointed by the governor must come up with a statewide redistricting plan, to be presented to the General Assembly in January. The legislature then can either adopt or amend the plan within 45 days; otherwise, it goes into effect.