West Chester council taking redistricting resolution to Harrisburg
By JEREMY GERRARD, 11/17/11
WEST CHESTER — Borough Council voted unanimously Wednesday evening to pass a resolution urging the 2011 Legislative Reapportionment Commission to maintain the entirety of the borough in a single Chester County legislative district.
Council members will be traveling to Harrisburg on Friday to speak to the General Assembly, requesting that they keep the borough in one district.
Redistricting plans for the state included a proposal to break apart the borough, putting wards 3, 4 and 5 into the 160th District and Wards 1, 2, 6 and 7 in the 156th District.
The proposed 160th District would consist of parts of Delaware County including the townships of Bethel, Chadds Ford, Concord and Upper Chichester, as well as East Bradford and Birmingham townships in Chester County.
Council said it is opposed to this “gerrymandering” by the General Assembly and intends to fight it in Harrisburg.
The resolution reads as follows:
“Whereas, the Pennsylvania Legislative Redistricting Commission has proposed to split the Borough of West Chester into two separate House Districts, and
Whereas, West Chester is a 1.8-square-mile, compact, historic urban municipality and is the County Seat of the County of Chester, and
Whereas, our urban community is unique and does not share the same characteristics as the surrounding suburban communities, and
Whereas it is proposed that half of our Borough, the County seat of Chester County, will be included in a district most of which is in Delaware County even though there are no common borders between West Chester and any Delaware County community, and
Whereas, the proposed redistricting would remove West Chester University and place it in a district most of which is in Delaware County even though there are no common borders between West Chester and any Delaware County Community, and
Whereas, the division of West Chester Borough is not necessary for the creation of a new District and is therefore in violation of the State Constitution.
Now therefore be it resolved, that the Borough Council of West Chester respectfully requests and urges the 2011 Legislative Redistricting Commission to maintain the entirety of the Borough of West Chester in a single Chester County legislative district.”
Petitions are currently being passed around the borough for residents’ signatures. Petition forms can be obtained at borough hall or by contacting the mayor’s office.