Bucks County Herald

Tinicum Together promotes gerrymandering’s demise

Supervisors approve resolution calling for reform

CLIFF LEBOWITZ

In a unanimous show of support for the first issue brought to their attention by a new local citizens’ group, Tinicum Township supervisors have approved a resolution calling for reform of the process for drawing voting districts for state and congressional elections.

Following presentation of the issue at their May 2 public meeting by Tinicum Together, a recently formed group, urged state legislators to “support and pass Senate Bill 22.” The bill is designed to stop partisan gerrymandering, during the decennial process of redrawing the voting districts.

The group was described by representatives Sharon Forte, Karen Budd and Mary Pucci as dedicated to “political issues at the state and local level.” supervisors

Referring to the Fair Districts PA website for further information, the group noted that the present process, where current representatives choose who votes in their districts, tended to favor the nomination of “candidates who cater to extremes,” while functioning to “impede action on critical issues of importance to the people.”

Their resolution called for support for Senate Bill 22 “and related efforts” toward a constitutional amendment that would reassign the redistricting task, whose next time is 2020, to an independent citizens commission. Such a commission would be “randomly selected from three pools of citizen volunteers, two representing each of the major parties and a third composed of third-party or unaffiliated voters.”

Among further provisions, it stated that “no current or recently elected officials, candidates, party officials, or their aides, spouses or other immediate family members would be eligible to serve,” while the process was to “provide for meaningful opportunity for public input prior to drawing plans, and again before adopting final plans.”

A copy of the approved resolution is to be delivered to the governor, local state representatives, and the members of the state Senate government committee.

Also at the May 2 meeting, township officials and volunteers reported progress in their efforts with the state Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) to make the best of the agency’s Jan. 11 demolishing of the McGee-Erwin House. Demolition began despite the house’s listing on the National Register of Historic Places, and in the Wild and Scenic Rivers System.

In particular, DCNR has agreed to preservation and clearing of remaining stone walls, while they await presentation of a timeline that would allow for an archaeological evaluation of debris.

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