A square deal
if not a fair deal
An announced candidate’s complaint notwithstanding, proposed redistricting of Marion County’s two legislative districts seems to be an improvement if not what should be done.
The entirety of Marion, Chase, and Morris Counties, with just a tiny bit of some other, larger county added, would give us a district that wouldn’t cut Marion County in half, leaving both halves as ignorable minorities in districts dominated by communities outside the county.
Still, boundaries of our two new districts don’t look, as current boundaries do, as if they were drawn by shaky hands on a napkin in some backroom of an establishment serving so-called adult beverages.
Although the new 70th District reaches out for the first time toward Roxbury in McPherson County, it no longer includes the distant Longford area in Clay County nor does it inexplicably exclude the Herington area in Dickinson County.
The Florence and Peabody areas move from the 74th District back into the 70th, while the Lehigh area moves from the 70th to the 74th.
The new 74th District no longer seems to reach out to grab Hillsboro in Marion County nor does it do the same with areas southeast of Newton in Harvey County. Boundaries are much less jagged and closer to being squares.
Now if we can just get similar sense applied to the boundaries for county commissioner districts, which are far more gerrymandered than our legislative districts have been.
Treating the northern half of Marion as an island, attached to the 2nd District while entirely surrounded by the 4th, is unconscionable and indefensible. It’s gerrymandering in the extreme and should not continue to be tolerated by county voters.
— ERIC MEYER