Elkridge Neighborhoods Divided by County Council
The County Council Monday approved an amended redistricting map that keeps two Ellicott City neighborhoods happy, may disappoint others.
Elkridge residents living on Ducketts Lane and Montgomery Road will be moving districts if the county executive signs a decision made by the County Council into law.
On Monday night, the council voted 3–2 to adopt an amended redistricting map sponsored by Council Chair Mary Kay Sigaty (D-District 4), that split neighborhoods on two Elkridge thoroughfares so that one side of the street is in District 1 and another side is in District 2.
Voting in favor of the amended map were Sigaty, Greg Fox (R–District 5) and Jennifer Terassa (D–District 3).
Courtney Watson (D-District 1) and Calvin Ball (D-District 2) voted against the map.
“I think it is important to note the concerns from Elkridge that have been presented throughout the process,” Watson said before voting against the amendment. “Elkridge needs to also be represented by this council.”
Under Sigaty's proposal, the Ellicott City neighborhoods of Wheatfield and Brampton Hills will remain in District 1 as opposed to moving them to District 2, as several alternative maps would have done.
Sigaty said that the Elkridge division was appropriate because “it’s actually a full precinct," referring to election precincts. “Given other decisions made on precinct lines, that would be an appropriate thing to do.”
Debbie Bures-Walker, who with Ellicott City neighbors in the Wheatfield and Brampton Hills advocated for staying in District 1, said she was “on pins and needles,” waiting for the vote Monday night.
Her relief, however, is tenuous. “If push comes to shove and [County Executive Ulman] starts hearing from Elkridge residents” who are unhappy with the changes, she is concerned that the map may not go into effect.
Greater Elkridge Community Association President Howard Johnson said that his next step would be pressing Ulman "to consider another map."
Ulman has until March 15 to sign the new map into law. If he doesn’t, or if he vetoes it, the map recommended by the Redistricting Commission–which moves Wheatfield and Brampton Hills into District 2–would become law.
Bures-Walker asked a group of about 22 neighbors, who attended the meeting in what has become their signature protest-red, to appeal to Ulman “respectfully,” to sign the map into law.
With reporting from Elkridge Patch Editor Elizabeth Janney.