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Council Votes to Oppose Redistricting Bill

Council Votes to Oppose Redistricting Bill

(Crystal A. Proxmire, 12/12/2011)

On Dec. 12, 2011, the Ferndale City Council  passed a resolution expressing opposition to a bill that would drastically change the makeup of Oakland County’s Board of Commissioners.  House Bill 5187, described in a previous Ferndale 115 News article, if passed, would force Oakland County to downsize to 21 elected County Commissioners from the current 25.  It would also give redistricting power to the Board as a whole, versus the long-standing committee that was created for that purpose.  County Commissioner Craig Covey spoke at Council about the bill, and shared a resolution he said is expected to pass in other South Oakland County cities.  Ferndale’s Council approved the resolution unanimously.

Below is the resolution:

“Resolution for Oakland County Cities to Michigan State Senators and Governor Snyder

‘Whereas Oakland County has a long-standing and well established protocol for redistricting its county commission seats each decade that strives for bi-partisanship and is made up of elected officials including the county clerk, the county treasurer, and the county prosecutor, along with the chairs of both the Republican and Democratic parties and

‘The Oakland County redistricting process has been completed, vetted, and ruled proper by Michigan courts and was done in a timely, transparent and legal manner and the process itself ensures local control and includes Oakland County  voters input through elections of three of the five members of that redistricting committee and

‘The biannual Oakland County commission elections are just months away with new districts and maps that ensure representation  of all residents of Oakland county including minority residents and

‘Last minute partisan political maneuvers by Lansing State House of Representative Republicans threaten local control and voters intent through House Bill 5187 that would eliminate four commission seats and Would negate the legally adopted apportionment plan now in place with a new system that allows current County Commissioners to redraw their own districts in 2012 for the elections in 2012 and

‘The author of House Bill 5187 Brad Jacobsen as admitted on public radio that part of his reasoning and goal of his bill would be to prevent any possible  election of additional  Democratic County Commissioners in 2012 because he does not agree with some Democratic policies and proposals and

‘House Bill 5187 violates the spirit of home rule and local control as well as using blatant political power to unfairly impose a partisan system to favor one party over the other and

‘House Bill 5187 could be used to violate rules designed to protect minorities from being marginalized in political boundary setting and that

‘House Bill 5187 would allow current sitting majority County Commissioners to redraw their own districts just prior to their elections in 2012

‘Therefore Be it Resolved that this City Council in the strongest terms vigorously opposes this last minute partisan attempt to impose new state rules on our county that removes local control, negates the actions of county voters, forces a new system of redistricting without our consent and places the ability of drawing new county commission lines in the very hands of the current sitting majority county commissioners which is unfair, unethical, and possibly illegal, and we call on the Michigan Senate and the Governor of the State of Michigan to oppose this bill.”

Read previous coverage here – http://oaklandcounty115.com/2011/12/08/state-house-considers-unusually-specific-redistricting-bill/.

Read County Commissioner Craig Covey’s blog on the subject at http://coveys-corner.blogspot.com/.  To listen to an interview with Jacobson, check out WDET at http://wdet.org/shows/craig-fahle-show/episode/new-rules-for-drawing-district-boundaries-in-oc/#.TuHyq2dPBes.facebook.

Read the bill at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billengrossed/House/htm/2011-HEBH-5187.htm

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