Thursday, Jan. 31, 2008

Option 2 is the way to go for Carroll County

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An open letter to the Carroll County Delegation to the Maryland General Assembly:

Maryland General Assembly passed, and the governor signed, House Bill 290 in 2003. The bill mandated the expansion of the Carroll Board of County Commissioners from three members to five, provided for their election by district rather than at-large, and established a process for the creation of five districts in the county. The act was taken to referendum during at the 2004 General Election, and was overwhelming approved by Carroll County voters.

Subsequently, the Commission Redistricting Committee drafted two redistricting plans, designated as Option 1 and Option 2. These plans were the subject of several public hearings, at which the committee solicited and received input from Carroll County residents.

At its final meeting on June 30, 2005, by a vote of 4-2, the committee adopted and, therefore recommended, Option 2. Subsequently, on Dec. 13, 2005, the Carroll County Delegation, without explanation, rejected the committee's recommendation of Option 2 and instead adopted Option 1 by a vote of 5-2.

On Jan. 30 2006, Option 1 was introduced to the General Assembly as House Bill 491. The General Assembly failed to pass House Bill 491 during the 2006 session.

Subsequently, more than one of you has decided to ignore the 2004 referendum results and support Del. Elliott's ‘‘compromise” four-district plan. This is an insult to the voters of Carroll County!

The residents of Carroll County have spoken loud and clear on this subject. Why are you ignoring the collective voice of your constituents?

The Commission Redistricting Committee drafted two alternative redistricting plans, designated as Option 1 and Option 2. Since Option 1 was deemed unacceptable by the Maryland General Assembly, wouldn't the prudent course of action be to pursue codifying Option 2? As you know, Option 2 enjoys broad support throughout Carroll County.

In my view, you have an obligation, as elected representatives, to work diligently and tirelessly to fulfill the expressed desires of your constituents. Therefore, I encourage you to introduce legislation during the 2008 session implementing the five commissioner district maps known as Option 2.

C. Scott Stone, Hamstead