36 minutes ago
Saturday, October 15, 2005
Lots of happenings in our county seat. The biggest political news is that the city council has appointed another commission to draw up the lines for new districts that will come into effect in 2007. From the TL:
City council voted last week to throw out the existing districts and form a new commission. Councilwoman Kathy Kane said that decision was motivated primarily by a dislike of the sprawling districts that gave little regard for neighborhoods.
The first plan drawn up by a commission in 2002 was a work of true gerrymandering. It divided the city into strips that cut across the neighborhoods. When the referendum was approved I think most people wanted a local councilperson to represent where they live. That spirit was ignored by the previous commission. At first I didn't like the idea of districts as it would lead to horse trading; you vote to pave my street, I will vote to fix your bridge, etc. But when I think back having a local advocate might have helped. I grew up in the North End and one of the worst things that ever happened to us was when they closed the Hollenback swimming pool because they built a new one at Coal Street Park. The kids of North End, Brookside, Parsons and Miners Mills had their swimming pool taken away. The new one was in the Heights. I wasn't allowed to go to the Heights because my Mom thought it was too far and not safe.