East Penn Press

Saturday, May 26, 2018
PRESS PHOTO BY DOUGLAS GRAVESTerry Schettini, from Fair Districts PA, urges the Upper Milford Township supervisors to support a proposed change to the way the state redraws its political maps. PRESS PHOTO BY DOUGLAS GRAVESTerry Schettini, from Fair Districts PA, urges the Upper Milford Township supervisors to support a proposed change to the way the state redraws its political maps.
Robert Sentner, who does not support putting the state’s redistricting authority in the hands of an 11-member commission, speaks out. Robert Sentner, who does not support putting the state’s redistricting authority in the hands of an 11-member commission, speaks out.

UPPER MILFORD TOWNSHIP SUPERVISORS

Wednesday, February 14, 2018 by DOUGLAS GRAVES Special to The Press in Local News

Fair District PA urges resolution about gerrymandering

Pennsylvania’s infamous “Goofy Kicking Donald Duck” 7th Congressional District, often referred to as the most well-known case of gerrymandering, would have to have a new caption if Fair Districts PA would have its suggestions implemented.

Fair Districts PA representative Terry Schettini urged the Upper Milford Township Supervisors Feb. 1 to pass a local resolution expressing support of revamping the manner in which political maps are drawn in Pennsylvania.

Fair District PA’s goal, according to Schettini, is to make the system fairer to both Republicans and Democrats by moving the redistricting process out of the hands of the state legislators where the party in power at the time of redistricting can redraw the legislative districts to suit the vested interests of the party in power.

The proposed method would turn the responsibility over to an 11-member commission selected through a randomized computer algorithm from lists composed of three separate groups of registered voters. One group would be from registered Republicans, one group from registered Democrats and one group would be from registered Independents.

Schettini said the proposal has bipartisan support from both Republicans and Democrats in the state, citing the support of State Sen. Patrick M. Brown, R-16th and State Rep. Justin Simmons, R-131st.

According to documentation supplied by Schettini, the proposed change would bring independence, transparency and be impartial and ethically bound.

“No current or recent elected officials, candidates, political party officials or their aides or spouses would be eligible for the commission,” he explained.

Pennsylvania’s current system of political map drawing is in the hands of the five member Legislative Reapportionment Commission.

Upper Milford Township Supervisor Robert Sentner offered his opinion of the proposal: “I totally disagree” with an 11-person commission.

In other business, the supervisors approved a motion to advertise for an emergency management coordinator and publish a job description.

The supervisors also approved a 5-year lease of a 17-acre tract of land located near Vera Cruz to Michael Crossley at $950 per year.

The board also approved the purchase of a new Mack brand dump truck.

The board approved payments of bills for $101,743.62 which included payments or donations to Citizen’s Fire Company for $16,625, to Emmaus Public Library for $10,497.50, to Ott Consulting for $15,082.72 and to Western District Fire Company for $16,625.