Last night, we came to know about a County Judge’s ruling that the County Council improperly adopted the controversial Council Redistricting Plan in November. This is a win for the residents who opposed the politically motivated gerrymandered redistricting map. Please read here for more about the news from Councilman Dernoga’s office
County residents rejoiced Friday when Circuit Court Judge William Snoddy ruled that the County Council improperly adopted the controversial Council Redistricting Plan in November.
The County Redistricting Commission produced a Recommended Map after months of public discussion and input. This Map (“Least Change”) proposed minimal changes from existing Council District boundaries.
A majority of the Council developed a new gerrymandered plan to disadvantage their political opponents who are candidates for County Council. This Map was revealed at the last possible moment to hopefully limit the opportunity for public opposition – which it did not.
The Council adopted its gerrymandered map on November 16th through Council Resolution CR-123-2021. Apart from disadvantaging political opponents, Vansille, Lakeland, College Park and Suitland residents became innocent bystanders whose communities were negatively affected.
Four County residents from these affected communities filed suit Monday arguing that a Council Resolution is an improper means of enacting the Council Redistricting Plan. These residents successfully argued that the Charter (and State law) require that all “laws” must be adopted by a Council “Bill” subject to Executive Veto (unless specifically excluded).
Judge Snoddy ruled from the bench and the parties are awaiting the issuance of his Order to understand the details.
I believe that the plaintiffs are legally correct (and that the Council’s Redistricting Plan was an undemocratic gerrymander), we will have to wait to see whether my colleagues decide to appeal. One may hope that they finally put their personal political desires aside and put an end to this public embarrassment.
[Office of CCM Tom Dernoga]