The statement was signed jointly by Bryan Holladay, Larry Shaheen, Lee Teague and Mike Walker. -- APRIL BETHEA
A Statement from the Republican members of the Ad Hoc County Commission Redistricting Committee:
After a great deal of soul-searching , the Republican members of the Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee decided to inform local members of the state delegation from the Matthews and Mint Hill of a proposed plan by Democrats on the committee that would severely harm the interests of those towns. A plan we feared would be railroaded through the County Commission.
The Democrats had proposed a plan that created a new, radically different District 6 that winds from Matthews and Mint Hill through central Charlotte then all the way over to South Blvd. The Republicans repeatedly asked for either an explanation or a revision to the plan. At our final meeting and after subsequent requests, neither was forthcoming. It became obvious there would be none.
Our primary concern centers around the impact on the southern towns. Dividing them between two separate districts and tying them to significant areas of Charlotte far from them would dilute their voice on the County Commission and potentially deny them their due from County services such as schools and parks.
Over the course of last week, it has become apparent from email discussions on the four plans agreed to be sent to the Commissioners for consideration that the Democrats real intention was to use their majority on the Committee and the Commission to influence the type of Republican elected from this district. Phrases such as “change for change’s sake” and “an opportunity to elect a candidate of their choice” were bandied about. Their hope seems to be to see someone more to their liking at the expense of the southern towns.
We decided we had to take some action so we discussed the issue with the state House and Senate members from Matthews and Mint Hill. They shared our concerns. At their request, we combined the best aspects of all four plans into one fair, legal, and logical plan that minimizes the change from the current districts, produces compact districts that allow all for better interaction between commissioners and their constituents, meets all the guidelines from the County Commission, and keeps communities together. It is a good-faith effort to create six fair districts, not just three or four of them.
This plan has been introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Brawley with the support of Senators Rucho and Tucker. We applaud the actions of these representatives to protect the interests of the southern towns and the southern part of Mecklenburg County against the redistricting plan proposed by the Democrats.