Nine Haverford Petitioners of Redistricting Plan Identified
Residents want the State Supreme Court to review a proposal that would move township wards into a different district.
(Editor's note: At around 11:30 a.m., Wednesday, commission member and Majority Leader Sen. Dominic Pileggi's communications director replied to Patch's request for comment. Please see the bottom of this article.)
Nine Haverford Township residents who filed a legal petition against the commonwealth’s Legislative Reapportionment Commission’s latest proposal to move wards 1 and 9 from the 166th district to the 163rd have been identified.
In an interview with the Haverford-Havertown Patch on Tuesday, State Rep. Greg Vitali (D-166) said that nine township residents filed a legal petition to the commonwealth’s State Supreme Court to have it review the commission’s June proposal to alter 28 Senate districts and 43 House districts—which would mean that Haverford Township’ wards 1 and 9 could move from the 166th district to the 163rd.
The nine people are:
- Thomas Shiffer of the 1st ward
- Rachel J. Amdur of the 3rd ward
- Joan Tarka of the 4th ward
- Lawrence W. Abel of the 5th ward
- Margaret G. Morscheck of the 6th ward
- Lawrence J. Chrzan of the 7th ward
- Susan Jewett of the 8th ward
- Carl Duzen of the 8th ward
- Shirley Resnick of the 9th ward
Vitali said that all nine people are Democratic voters and Havertown lawyer Eric Ring filed the petition on or around Friday, July 6. A copy of the petition accompanies this article.
The petition questioned the proposal’s constitutionality, something that Vitali has stated goes against. Vitali has stated that the proposal goes against the state’s constitution.
But Vitali also has stated that the proposal—like its predecessor where the commission passed a similar proposal, but the state Supreme Court threw it out in January, ruling that it was not “contrary to law”—was made for political reasons by the Republicans.
“We have been troubled of the political nature of the Reapportionment Commission,” Vitali told Patch on Tuesday afternoon.
While the first proposal created at the end of 2011 had a unanimous vote by all of the commission members, the new one created in June had one nay vote by State Sen. Jay Costa (D-43), who called the latest proposal a “disappointment” and a “gerrymandered map.”
Haverford Township residents are not the only ones who are against the commission’s proposal. Montgomery County commissioners, along with six other public officials and Montgomery County residents, filed an appeal with the Supreme Court earlier this week contesting the latest reapportionment plan from the state legislature.
Patch has reached out to commission member and Majority Leader Sen. Dominic Pileggi (R-9) for comment about the petition and appeals. But in previous stories he has maintained that the first proposal was not created because of politics, stating that a Democrat originally voted for the first plan.
On Wednesday morning Pileggi’s Communications and Policy Director Erik Arneson wrote in an email to Patch that the proposal is out of the hands of the commission.
"Because the Commission has adopted a revised final plan, at this point all appeals of that plan will be heard by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court. In other words, the Commission can no longer make changes," Arneson wrote.
He did address the appeals, only stating that a list of them can be found on Pileggi's website.