West Chester remains split in final redistricting

by Eric S. Smith, Daily Local News, 12/14/11

The north side of Union Street in West Chester, left, will now be part of the 156th District in the state House, while the south side will be part of the 160th District. Redistricting has split the borough into two districts. Staff photo by Tom Hope

The Pennsylvania state House and Senate seats for the next election cycle were finalized on Monday and despite opposition from local officials West Chester remains split between two representatives.

The 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th wards will be a part of the 156th District, which previously encompassed the entire borough and is currently represented by Republican Dan Truitt. The 3rd, 4th and 5th wards will now be part of the 160th District, a seat held by Republican Stephen Barrar. The legislative districts are final pending any legal challenges that can be filed in the courts.

West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta and representatives from East Bradford and West Chester University testified before the legislative redistricting committee in Harrisburg in November, urging members to keep the borough and East Bradford as whole municipalities within a single district. East Bradford has also been split between the 156th and 160th.

Most of West Chester University will be part of the 160th, which is predominantly in Delaware County.

“It would be an anomaly for half of the borough, the seat of Chester County, to be moved to a Delaware County district,” Comitta said at the redistricting hearings last month. “It is certainly not a good idea to split a county seat, especially one that is an urban center providing a myriad of essential services for the region.”…

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