Gov. Snyder Approves New District Maps Dividing Pointes, Harper Woods
The new maps divide the current district representing the five Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods into two districts, each gaining larger portions of Detroit.
Gov. Rick Snyder signed redrawn district maps for both the state House of Representative and Senate into law this morning—the last day for him to do so.
The new maps divide the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods—six communities historically represented by one house district—into two districts adding sections of Detroit to each.
Rep. Tim Bledsoe (D-Grosse Pointe) currently represents the district and voted against the new maps. He also sent a letter signed by himself and local political leaders to Snyder asking for the bill to vetoed. Additionally, he forwarded on letters from residents opposing the split.
According to the Michigan Legislature website, Snyder signed the maps into law at 11:06 a.m. and notification has since been filed with the Secretary of State's office.
Following the approval of the maps by the senate and the house, the bill awaited introduction to Snyder and all of the Grosse Pointes and Harper Woods adopted resolutions opposing the new maps. Each sent unified letters to Snyder, with the Farms council voting Monday to oppose the split.
Officials and residents fear having two districts will essentially eliminate the Pointes/Harper Woods community voice from the state house.
Bledsoe said he is disappointed about the Governor's decision to sign the bill rather than veto it. He also said he knows residents will be disappointed about "the diminished legislative voice" the Pointes and Harper Woods will have.
The new districts are:
- Grosse Pointe Woods, Grosse Pointe Shores and Harper Woods along with a portion of Detroit.
- Grosse Pointe Farms, City of Grosse Pointe and Grosse Pointe Park with a portion of Detroit.
The city managers of the Grosse Pointes have regular meetings to keep abreast of community-wide issues as well as initiatives and project shared among the cities. It was decided in one of these meetings for all of the councils to approve resolutions opposing the new maps and there was discussion about fighting it legally if Snyder signed it into law, Shores City Manager Brian Vick told the council during a recent meeting.
Although there has been talk within the Pointes about legally challenging the decision, Bledsoe said doing so is a long shot. He said those behind the bill worked carefully to follow all of the appropriate procedures and legal guidelines to ensure it wouldn't be challengable in court.
The new districts will not take effect until January 2013, meaning elections for the new districts will be in November of 2012, Bledsoe said, noting he has not yet decided whether he is running. He's likely to decide early next year, he said.
There isn't any particular legislation Bledsoe plans to get through before the district changes from one to two. The main focus now, Bledsoe said, is the schools of choice proposal. A draft of the bill hasn't been written, or at least isn't being openly shared with all state legislators at this point.