The Carroll County Redistricting Committee voted last week to recommend Map A as the updated commissioner district map to serve the county for the next 10 years.
Four proposed maps were considered by a seven-member group which aimed to shape the five Carroll County commissioner districts so they have equal population.
Carroll County Code requires that the commissioners appoint a new redistricting committee following the release of the decennial census to examine and adjust the districts based on the revised population data. According to figures released in August, Carroll County has grown by 5,757 people over the past 10 years.
Next, the recommended district revisions will be submitted to the Carroll County legislative delegation by Dec. 1 for final approval, according to Carroll County Attorney Tim Burke. The delegation can approve the map, reject it or draw their own. The Board of Commissioners has no role in the process.
Joe Leeman, chair of the committee, said last month the proposed maps were very similar as the group was “united in its desire for certain towns and municipalities to be together in the same district.”
All committee members wanted to see a District 1 that was comprised of Taneytown, Union Bridge, and New Windsor, a District 2 comprised of Hampstead and Manchester and a District 5 comprised of the whole of Sykesville and Eldersburg, Leeman said.
Although the county board of elections requested the committee try avoiding splitting voting precincts, the few maps which split no precincts were not able to accomplish the common goals of the group and stay within population limits.
Leeman said the group decided to split as few precincts as possible while uniting communities and maintaining the population requirements.
The committee ultimately chose Map A, which splits Finksburg at Route 140, with northern Finksburg in District 2 and southern Finksburg in District 3. The other precinct split occurs along Deer Park Road.
“There was very little public feedback, but that which we did get was given great consideration,” Leeman said. “Based on the feedback we did receive, I believe a good 90% of those who expressed their opinions will feel satisfied not only with the chosen map, but also that their voices were heard.”
The Carroll County Board of County Commissioners were responsible for selecting the members of the redistricting committee.
“Through everything I’ve seen and heard, they did a great job being collegial and transparent,” Commissioner President Ed Rothstein, R-District 5, said. “Now it’s up to the delegation to take the next steps forward.”
Rothstein mentioned he was proud of the work the committee has done.
“It was selfless and another testament to Carroll County taking care of Carroll countians,” he said.
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The current commissioner districts are as follows: District 1, the county’s northernmost and geographically largest district, stretches from the Taneytown area east to Manchester; District 2 runs along the county’s east side, from Hampstead south through Finksburg and Gamber; District 3 includes the City of Westminster and surrounding areas; District 4 encompasses most of southwestern Carroll County, including the towns of Mount Airy, New Windsor and Union Bridge; and District 5 includes the Eldersburg community and the Town of Sykesville.