Town needs to take another look at redistricting debacle

To the Editor:

A picture is worth a thousand words. And in the case of the Fairfield RTM redistricting conundrum, two pictures are worth looking at. Sadly, nobody who is reporting or commenting on the issue is doing that.

The first picture is the eight-district proposal voted in place by our town legislature, the RTM, albeit along party lines by the Republican majority, this past May. That plan is in full compliance with state statute and the town charter.

That new plan eliminated the 10 old districts, which were not only no longer consistent with a one person, one vote mandate legislative representation using the latest census data, but also severely gerrymandered thanks to the “you scratch my back and I will scratch yours” political redistricting process used 10 years ago.

The second picture is that old 10-district map that will now again be used to point us to our polling places this November. Thanks to the RTM not being allowed to defend its actions before a court when one Fairfield Democrat, Jack Slane, sought an injunction prohibiting the town clerk and Registrar of Voters from implementing the new eight-district map, the old out of compliance 10-district map will be used.

The complaining Democrat, reportedly a lawyer by trade, very cleverly had the RTM removed as a party to his complaint once the interim court ordered mediation process failed. Once the full hearing came around before the deciding lower court judge, the RTM was not allowed to  defend itself in court as the judge declared the RTM’s very legal actions to be illegal.

Lower courts are not infallible by any means. I certainly do not appreciate that my vote has now been disenfranchised thanks to some rather clever lawyering on the part of the one Democrat and some bad interpretation of the law and the facts on the part of a rather fallible lower court judge

Exactly why the RTM is choosing to sit on its hands rather than defend its lawful action in the so many other avenues available to it is quite the mystery to me. Maybe it’s the summer vacation

 

Jim Brown

Fairfield

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