Severna Park Wins Single Representation

January 08, 1992|By John A. Morris | John A. Morris,Staff writer

The County Council ended a months-long tug of war between Severn andSeverna Park when it approved new political districts Monday night.

Severna Park was the winner in the bitterly contested battle for representation by a single council member. But Severn lost its bid to have its own district for the first time since the county adopted charter government.

"Some communities win, some communities lose," said County Council Chairman David Boschert, D-Crownsville. "But as long as Anne Arundel County wins, I feel as if we've done our job."

The council also voted, 7-0, to reform the county's commercial bingo industry, limiting the number of licenses to six and requiring extensive background checks.

The county's seven council districts will remain largely thesame under Boschert's redistricting plan, which passed, 6-1. Districts must be realigned every 10 years to balance population changes in each.

The plan keeps almost all of greater Severna Park and the Broadneck Peninsula in District 5, which is represented by Republican Councilwoman Diane Evans.

But District 5, the county's most populous jurisdiction, will lose Elvaton to District 2, represented by Democrat Edward Middlebrooks, and Riverdale to District 3, represented by Republican Carl G. Holland.

Previous efforts to balance the population in Evans' district drew protests from Shipley's Choice, Berrywood and Lower Broadneck, all of which would have been split.

JeffreyDeCaro, president of the Shipley's Choice Homeowners Association, told the council Monday that he and his neighbors wanted to be includedwith Severna Park, where, he said, they shop, play and work.

"We feel it is important to vote where we spend our money and spend our time," DeCaro said.

Despite appeals from Severn residents to be unified into a single district, the West County community remains divided among three.

"Why is the council turning a deaf ear to our concerns?" asked Charles Levay, a representative of the Peach Orchard Civic Association. "Is Severna Park that intimidating?"

Under the approved maps, the Severn area is split among districts represented by Boschert, Middlebrooks and George F. Bachman, D-Linthicum.

County Councilwoman Maureen Lamb opposed the new boundaries, saying her colleagues failed to consider the efforts of the county-appointed Charter Revision Commission, which recommended, 4-1, moving Crofton into Boschert's district. Boschert's plan was based on the commission's minority report.

"I hope this council isn't going to make a practice of asking people to do things for us and then throwing everything they'vedone in the trash basket," Lamb said. "That's what we've done."

The new boundaries become effective after the 1994 council elections.

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