Local Voters Sliced, Whacked And Hacked In Redistricting

HARRISBURG PA – Proposed changes to Pennsylvania House of Representatives’ district boundaries, under the yet-to-be-approved statewide political redistricting plan, would split the borough of Pottstown and selectively add the northwestern Montgomery County boroughs of East Greenville, Red Hill and Pennsburg to a mostly Lehigh County district, The Pennsylvania Independent online news service reported Wednesday (Nov. 23, 2011).

Lower Pottsgrove (PA) Township residents know what that feels like. In a similar political move a decade ago, they were selectively lumped into the mostly Lehigh County 15th Congressional District.

Pottstown public officials have formally made known their displeasure with the latest development, in which the divided borough would be represented by Rep. Thomas Quigley of the state House 146th District and Rep. Marcy Toepel of the 147th District. The borough currently is fully in Quigley’s domain.

And the Upper Perkiomen Valley Chamber of Commerce, which represents businesses in Pennsburg, Red Hill and East Greenville, isn’t happy either. They have been cut from their current district and are proposed to be included in a small finger of the 131st District, which is almost entirely contained within neighboring Lehigh County, according to The Independent.

“It will be difficult even for the most attentive representatives to establish a strong presence and adequately serve our business and residential interests,” the chamber’s Luanne Stauffer said.

  1. After the last redistricting ten years ago, the 13th Congressional District, which was all of Montgomery County, was sliced and diced. The three Pottsgroves were made part of the 15th Congressional District, which is mostly Allentown, Bethlehem and Easton, and their surrounding areas; and Pottstown was made part of the PA 6th Congressional District, which is predominately eastern and central MontCo and Chester County. In spite of all this slicing and dicing, at least Pottstown Borough was not whacked up, as is being done this year. And, the three Pottsgroves, which comprise the Pottsgrove School District also remained in tact. Under the latest proposal this will also change.

    It appears as though some are hell bent to slice, dice, chop, whack and hack up western Montgomery County to render it totally insignificant. With the exception of officials from Pottstown, I have heard or read nothing from the officials from the three Pottsgroves, or the Pottsgrove School District, protesting the proposed redistricting plan.

    I am also surprised that there has not been a huge local public response and outcry to these proposals. Do we the public really not understand, or even care, what this means to us in western MontCo, especially those of us in Pottstown, the three Pottsgroves? Maybe I just missed it.

    Also, why have I not heard or read where US-Congressmen Dent and Gerlach, PA-Sen Rafferty and PA-Rep Quigley oppose this proposal. Perhaps I also missed these as well.

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