email from West Chester Mayor Carolyn Comitta, 1/16/12:
Attached you will find the Brief that has been filed in our challenge to the recent state house redistricting/splitting of the Borough of West Chester.
There are eleven parties in this legal petition including the Mayor, and Borough Council President, Holly Brown. The parties include residents from Democratic, Republican and Independent parties.
No tax dollars are being used to fund this appeal. Expenses are either being donated, or paid for by the Democratic Party.
The appeal will be heard before the State Supreme Court in Harrisburg on January 23rd. West Chester Attorney, Sam Stretton, is the attorney representing the parties and has donated his time to prepare this Brief. He is also representing the parties in the Borough of Phoenixville appeal of their redistricting.
I will be in attendance at the hearing in support of our petition, along with several others. The hearings are public and all are welcome to attend.
Borough Council voted unanimously to urge the State Reapportionement Commission to keep the Borough in one house district. Council and the Mayor and many others believe that the splitting of the Borough of West Chester into two state house legislative districts (instead of being totally in one, the 156th) is a violation of the state constitution, is an act of racial discrimination, and is generally not in the best interest of the residents of the Borough of West Chester, and the residents of the municipalities for whom West Chester serves as an urban service hub. Details can be found in the Brief attached here.
Please understand that the Borough will remain “the Borough” and will not be divided for local governance in any way. Borough Council will serve the people of West Chester as they always have and Borough government will remain the same. The split is solely between state legislative house districts – with the residents of the northern half of West Chester served by one state representative, and the residents living in the southern half of the Borough served by another house representative who represents primarily Delaware County (again, details in Brief).
If you have any questions please feel free to email me any time. We will keep you informed of the proceedings and the eventual outcome of our challenge.
Carolyn T. Comitta
Mayor of West Chester