WC Mayor and Council seek YOUR SUPPORT to keep a single legislative district in the Borough

Downtown West Chester, 11/21/11

West Chester, PA — Citizens are encouraged to voice their objection to the proposed redistricting of West Chester Borough into two districts instead of one, according to Mayor Carolyn Comitta and Borough Council President Holly Brown.

The Pennsylvania Legislative Redistricting Commission has proposed to split the Borough of West Chester into two separate House Districts. Currently, House District 156 serves the whole of the Borough of West Chester, an area of 1.8 square miles. But due to redistricting, a process that occurs every ten years to insure that all districts have about an equal number of persons residing within them, the Borough would be served by both the 156th and 160th districts. The new boundaries would set by the wards. Ward 1, 2, 6, and 7 would continue to be in the 156th District and wards 3, 4, and 5 in the 160th District.

“We are asking West Chester citizens to contact the Legislative Reapportionment Commission by November 30 and let them know that West Chester residents object to splitting the Borough into two legislative districts,” said Mayor Carolyn Comitta.

On November 16, the Borough Council passed a resolution to urge the 2011 Legislative Redistricting Commission to maintain the entirety of the Borough of West Chester in a single Chester County legislative district. The resolution indicates that West Chester is a compact, historic urban municipality and is the County Seat of the County of Chester. It also states that West Chester is “an urban community that is unique and does not share the same characteristics as the surrounding suburban communities.” Read the entire resolution: Redistricting Resolution.

Of equal concern, part of West Chester University would be separated from the 156th and put into the 160th, thus dividing the university between two districts. Further, there are no common borders between West Chester and any Delaware County community. Some also feel that the division of West Chester Borough is not absolutely necessary and is therefore in violation of the State Constitution.

Citizens may download a petition here Redistricting Petition and contact members of the Legislative Reapportionment commission with their concerns.

Click on the members below for e-mail contact:

Legislative Reapportionment Commission, Judge Stephen J. McEwen Jr., Chair

Sen. Dominic Pileggi

Sen. Jay Costa

Rep. Mike Turzai

Rep. Frank Dermody

Here also is the message to the same end, telephoned and emailed to the Borough’s distribution list:

Community Blackboard Message: November 26, 2011

Dear West Chester Borough Neighbors:

This is West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta. Borough Council and I need your help.  We are asking West Chester citizens to contact the State Reapportionment Commission by November 30, and let them know that West Chester voters object to splitting the Borough into two House districts.

The proposed redistricting would remove half of the Borough and half of West Chester University and place it in a district which is mainly in Delaware County. We firmly believe this split between two districts would significantly diminish and dilute West Chester’s voice at the state level, and that the plan is a direct violation of the State Constitution.

West Chester is a complex, regional urban center. We are the County Seat, of Chester County. West Chester needs a unified voice in Harrisburg to address its unique needs.  We urge you to speak out now. Visit www.downtownwestchester.com for details. Thank you!

Carolyn T. Comitta, Mayor
Holly Brown, Borough Council President
Borough of West Chester