Governor's Legislative Redistricting Plan Cuts Through Lutherville
Community leader Eric Rockel testified against the proposal Thursday in Annapolis.
At least one outspoken Lutherville-Timonium community leader is dissatisfied with the proposed legislative redistricting maps, which could effect what Greater Timonium Community Council president Eric Rockel called "significant portion" of residents in the Lutherville area.
The governor's redistricting advisory committee recommended that the redistricting line be drawn at Greenspring Drive, through the Country Club Park community. Residents living north of the boundary would be shifted into the 11th District—which is represented by state legislators Sen. Bobby Zirkin and Delegates Dan Morhaim, Jon Cardin and Dana Stein, who are all Democrats.
Currently, that area of Lutherville is in the 42nd District, where the state legislators are Sen. James Brochin, a Democrat, and Delegates Stephen W. Lafferty, a Democrat, and Susan L. M. Aumann and William J. Frank, both Republicans. The move would put that section of Lutherville in a district that now largely includes Reisterstown.
"That's disappointing," Rockel said. "My feeling is that the 11th District has always been considered a Reisterstown Road corridor district. ... I just think it does the people a disservice."
Rockel, a Country Club Park resident, testified against the proposed redistricting plans in Annapolis before Gov. Martin O'Malley, Speaker of the House Michael Busch and Senate President Mike Miller.
In an interview with Patch, Rockel referred to the children who attend Lutherville-Timonium schools, the young adults who play in the Lutherville-Timonium Rec Council, and the people who shop along the York Road corridor. He affirmed that these people identify with the the Lutherville-Timonium community and to pull them out of it would be an injustice.
Rockel did not, however, express ill will toward the legislators who would possibly represent his neighborhood, which falls less than a mile outside of the historic Lutherville community.
"I like the delegates, Bobby Zirkin and Dan Morheim," Rockel said. "They've always been very responsive to inquiries that I've made of them. ... It just seems to be common sense."
Rockel said he will have to wait for the start of the 2012 Maryland General Assembly, which begins Jan. 11, to see how the legislative redistricting process will unfold.
He said he encouraged his neighbors to write to the governor's office ahead of Thursday's hearing. The next step, Rockel said, may involve a lawsuit against the state.
In 2002, Lutherville residents filed a case Gov. Parris Glendening because his redistricting map "was more outrageous than this one," Rockel said.