Olszewski, Bevins Eye Precinct Swap in Essex
Proposal would keep about 1,000 people in the 6th District.
Council Chairman John Olszewski Sr. said he and Bevins, a fellow Democrat, reached an agreement to keep the waterfront precinct, which includes the Hopewell Point development, in the 6th District she represents.
A plan put forth by the council's first Redistricting Commission had originally moved the precinct into the 7th District, which is represented by Olszewski.
"It's something she has now and she wanted to keep it because she sees it as the gateway to Middle River," Olszewski said.
Any change to the proposed maps would need the approval of four council members. Five of the seven would have to vote in favor of the final bill before it could be approved. The bill cannot be vetoed by the county executive.
It is not clear if this change will open the door to other possible swaps. A majority of the council said last week they were leaning toward approving the map as proposed.
Councilman Ken Oliver plans to introduce an amendment Monday night that would move the Woodlawn High School precinct back into his district from one represented by fellow Democratic Councilman Tom Quirk.
Oliver did not return a call from a reporter seeking comment.
Oliver said last week that he plans to challenge the map in court if his amendment is rejected. A community group is also threatening to challenge the map via a referendum vote in the 2012 election.
Another possible change involves moving the Loch Hill neighborhood near Towson back into the proposed 5th District, which is represented by Republican Councilman David Marks.
The map, as proposed, moves the neighborhood of about 200 residents into a district represented by Bevins
Marks, in an Oct. 2 interview with Towson University's student newspaper The Towerlight, spoke as if a switch was nearly impossible.
“Redistricting is a very difficult process, and it’s impossible to make everyone happy. I have tried to be responsive to the Greater Towson Council, but I’m not a superman,” Marks told the student publication. “I’ve pleaded my case with my colleagues. I’ve done my best to try to solve the situation.”
But in a Monday morning interview with Patch, Marks said he continues to talk with Bevins about possible solutions.
"I think it's still up in the air," Marks said. "I'm still trying to figure out how to solve this."