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Letter: Chairperson Of Temporary Districting Advisory Commission Responds To Article

Regarding your front page article “County Democrats Hold Redistricting Forum,” [last week’s edition] I have several comments.

The article reports that “Commission members said that Republican Chairman Francis Moroney would not allow the public to influence the commission’s decisions, whereas their party [Democrats] welcomes public input.”

What the Democrats failed to advise the public was that the Commission agenda allowed for public comment; and that some 13 members of the public took advantage of the comment period at the June 28, 2012 business meeting of the Commission. The Commission also heard comments from seven other members of the public at its May 31, 2012 business meeting.

The Democrats also failed to advise the public attending its “rump caucus” that Republican and Democrat staff were directed to find appropriate places around the County for public hearings to be held by the entire Commission on redistricting.

As to Legislator Wink’s comments, they demonstrate that he is uninformed on Commission proceedings. The Republican Commissioners have not drawn any lines, last year or this year! At our May 31, 2012 public business meeting, I advised the members that the map that was passed upon last year by the County Legislature was to be disregarded. They were advised to start with a “clean slate.” Hence his comments are inflammatory and baseless.

The Democrat members of the Commission are free to hold as many hearings as they wish. But instead of gathering useful information they elected to engage in extreme partisanship. It seems that the first victim of this cynical approach to redistricting is the truth.

Frank Moroney
Chair, Temporary Districting Advisory Commission