Commission's map displays hypocrisy of its majority

Letter to the editor

November 16, 2011

As a member of the 2011 Councilmanic Redistricting Commission, I write with great disappointment over the commission's decision. The map that has been recommended is a slap in the face to all those citizens who came out in support of keeping their communities together as much as possible.

Residents of Brampton and Wheatfield pleaded their case that they have the most in common with their neighbors across Montgomery Road, Ellicott City and the rest of District 1. A point was made several times that while residents visit Columbia occasionally, they shop, worship and go to school in the Ellicott City area. A majority of the commission rejected this argument when it was made by the residents of Brampton and Wheatfield, but did not question it when a member of the commission used the same rationale to defend keeping his neighborhood of Hollifield in Council District 1.

A majority of the commission, in effect, punished those who testified for daring to prefer Ellicott City to Columbia. The overall rational used was that those neighborhoods need to see how great Columbia is.

As a life-long Howard County resident, I love Columbia. It is a great place to shop, eat out and live. However, no one can make the argument that Columbia and Ellicott City are not two distinct regions with vastly different concerns. The arrogance and hypocrisy espoused by the commission is astounding. Again we hear those in the majority claiming to know what's best for us.

Despite the "party-line" vote, those dissenting, myself included, were in favor of a map proposal submitted by a member of the Board of Elections and a former Democratic Central Committee Member. That map took resident's concerns into consideration, respected pre-existing boundaries and kept the map compact and contiguous, which was our task as per the county charter.

I hope you will join me in voicing your discontent to your council member and urge the council to support a map that keeps communities together, makes minimal changes and is compact and contiguous. Residents must take a stand against partisan redistricting in order for good governance to continue in Howard County.

David K. Myers

Ellicott City

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