State Representative Doyle Heffley has written a "letter to the editor" regarding the realignment of legistlative district.
The matter has become controversial in that the only town affected will be Summit Hill. Under the plan, Summit Hill will be switched from the 122nd Legislative District (Heffley's District) to the 124th Legislative District, which is served by Jerry Knowles of Tamaqua and covers much of Schuylkill County and a section of Berks County.
The Summit Hill Borough Council has gone on record as opposing the plan. Also opposed are Carbon County Commissioner William O'Gurek and former State Representative Keith McCall. O'Gurek and McCall reside in Summit Hill.
Petitions are being circulated at several businesses in Summit Hill and Summit Hill Borough Hall opposing the realignment.
Heffley writes in his letter:
"I am writing in response to recent articles about the redistricting plan that moves Summit Hill from the 124th Legislative District, which I represent, into the 124th Legislative District, served by Rep. Jerry Knowles.
"The Pennsylvania Constitution mandates that setting boundaries for legislative districts is solely the authority of the five-member Legislative Reapportionment Commission.
"The commission includes the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Pennsylvania Senate. The four members appoint a fifth member by a majority vote. If there isn't agreement in the appointment of the fifth member, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court appoints that individual.
"Redistricting is the adjustment of boundaries of election districts within a jurisdiction that may be necessary every 10 years because of population changes based on the U.S. Census. The primary purpose of redistricting is to insure that districts have equal population sizes (mandated by the Pennsylvania Constitution) and that the districts meet all other state and federal legal requirements.
"There are two very important federal requirements for redistricting: the "one person, one vote" requirement; and the requirements of the federal Voting Rights Act.
"The one person, one vote requirement states that election districts should be nearly equal in their total populations. The definition of "nearly equal" is based on the state population and the mandate that there are to be 203 state representatives and 50 state senators.
"Each Pennsylvania House member will represent approximately 62,000 residents. The populati