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Havre de Grace city council affirms support for consolidating with Aberdeen in one Harford County district

The Havre de Grace City Council signaled that the city wants to be in the same Harford County council district as Aberdeen at its Monday meeting.

The council approved a resolution Monday to submit a map of proposed council districts to the redistricting commission, which is in the process of redrawing the county’s political boundaries with recently released U.S. Census data. The resolution passed 5-0, with Councilman Dave Martin absent.

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In a previous meeting of the redistricting committee, Havre de Grace Mayor William T. Martin said city residents felt disenfranchised in their current district. District F also includes Abingdon, Creswell, Cedarday, Riverside, Belcamp, Perryman and part of Aberdeen Proving Ground — communities with differing priorities to the city.

Because city residents were the minority in their district, Martin said, their voices were drowned out by other communities.

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Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady proposed this redrawn map of Harford's county council districts, including a district that lumps the cities of Aberdeen and Havre de Grace together.
Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady proposed this redrawn map of Harford's county council districts, including a district that lumps the cities of Aberdeen and Havre de Grace together. (Courtesy City of Aberdeen)

Aberdeen Mayor Patrick McGrady revealed the proposed council map in a presentation before the Aberdeen City Council last week. While its most notable feature was the conjoining of Havre de Grace and Aberdeen in one district, the proposed map also tightened up other districts in the county.

While Aberdeen and Havre de Grace share a healthy rivalry, the two cities’ issues and priorities are aligned. For example, the two cities signed a landmark water agreement last year, whereby Aberdeen and Havre de Grace will buy and sell water between themselves.

Consolidating them into one contiguous district makes sense for having the most effective representation for their citizens, McGrady said.

Aberdeen is currently part of District E, which includes the Churchville and Fountain Green areas.

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Every 10 years, per the county’s charter, its council districts have to be reexamined based on the decennial Census. The boundaries were last redrawn in 2012.

The five-member redistricting commission to do it is tasked with submitting recommendations on redrawing the county’s political lines to the Harford County Council by Oct. 1. The commission is next scheduled to meet at 6 p.m. Wednesday, the first of eight meetings slated for September.

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