Council The Site Of Battle Of The Redistricting Plans

December 16, 1991|By Robert Lee | Robert Lee,Staff writer

Democratic Central Committee Chairman Michael T. Brown will attempt to steal the show from the city Redistricting Committee at tonight's council meeting with an alternative plan to redraw the ward maps of Annapolis.

John Prehn Jr., head of the redistricting committee, is scheduled to present the City Council with a plan that was approved last month, 10-1, by the appointed members of the special panel.

Though the presentation has not been billed as a public hearing, Brown plans to bring a copy of an alternative plan that he and local activist Jim Martin drew up on Martin's computer. Their proposal, Brown says, provides better representation for Annapolis' black population.

Prehn, a Republican, has defended the panel's plan as "lawsuit-proof."

It was not possible to increase the black population in Ward 6 while maintaining solid black majorities in wards 5 and 3, he said last month.

But Brown, whose plan increases the black population in Ward 6, where he is expected to run against Alderman Wayne Turner, R-Ward 6, in 1993, said the only reason Prehn and others on the panel could not increase minority representation was that they "had their personal party gerrymandering to attend to."

Brown said Prehn's plan does not meet with the requirements of the 1968 Voting Rights Act.

In other business, the council will meet behind closed doors to receive a briefing from City Attorney Jonathan Hodgson before deciding whether to appeal a U.S. District Court judge's decision to allow construction of an 80-foot-high span over the Severn River.

Alderman Carl Snowden, D-Ward 5, predicted that a majority of the councilwould vote against pursuing the case further, but Alderman Dean Johnson, I-Ward 2, said last week that the council will pursue the case "as long as I have any say in it."

The Citizens for the Scenic Severn River Bridge plans to appeal, whether or not the city joins.

CITY COUNCIL MEETING

AGENDA: Proposed ward redistricting plan; expansion and liquor license for Sam's Corner.

WHEN: Tonight at 7:30

WHERE: City Hall, 160 Duke of Gloucester St., Annapolis.

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