A pair of Frederick County Council precincts may shift from one district to another, but the Republican council member whose district would lose voters believes the plan is fair.

The precincts include Libertytown and Unionville and are home to 4,430 voters — or 1.6 percent of the county’s electorate — in the eastern part of the county, and the move is part of a proposal adopted by the county’s citizen-run redistricting commission.

Under the proposal, the precincts would leave District 2, represented by Republican Councilman Steve McKay, and join District 5, overseen by Councilman Michael Blue, also a Republican.

McKay called the plan a “clean solution” to the commission’s goal of evenly distributing the county’s voters among its five council districts after recent U.S. Census data revealed how the county’s population grew.

“It keeps the district map fairly compact,” said McKay, who hasn’t officially announced plans to run for re-election.

Preliminary census data showed that, while the population in each of the county’s five council districts grew, there was a shift in the proportion of the county’s total population that each district comprises. District 5 became the least populous district, creating an opportunity to make the change.

In an attempt to bring the proportion of the county’s population within each district to as close to 20 percent as possible, the proposal would bump the District 5 proportion from less than 18 percent to more than 19 percent. It would decrease the District 2 proportion from more than 21 percent to 19.5 percent — changing it from the most populous district to the second least.

Residents in and around Libertytown and Unionville have much in common with communities in parts of District 5, in some cases more so than with areas in District 2, McKay said. The councilman added it would hurt to lose the reliably red precincts, though he would support the proposal if it came to the council.

“I could look at it from a partisan perspective, but that’s not appropriate,” McKay said.

McKay won his district in 2018 with more than 13,500 total votes, or 57 percent of the District 5 vote total, according to the State Board of Elections. Blue amassed more than 12,000 votes, or 64 percent of his district’s tally. A Republican also represented both districts on the county’s inaugural council, which was formed in 2014 after the county’s shift to a charter form of government.

The Frederick County Redistricting Commission is separate from those at the state level tasked with redrawing Maryland’s legislative and congressional districts.

The county’s commission comprises three Republican and three Democratic members, named to the council by the parties’ respective State Central Committees, and three unaffiliated members. The commission is only responsible for assessing the districts that five of seven County Council members represent. The other two council members are at-large.

The commission plans to hold a public hearing on Oct. 21 before forwarding the proposal to the council the following week.

Follow Jack Hogan on Twitter: @jckhogan

(27) comments

Piedmontgardener

Steve - your work on behalf of your district and the citizens of the county has been exemplary, exactly what we need from citizen legislators. Please consider running for the CE position.

gabrielshorn2013

Excellent suggestion piedmontgardener! He would have my vote.

C.D.Reid

I agree, 100%, we sure could use a County Executive like Steve. Somehow I don't see him bribing county employees with $1000 each to get vaccinated.

gabrielshorn2013

Mr. McKay is one of the most honest and honorable politicians that we have not seen in a very long time. Kudos, sir!

Fredginrickey

Nope, just another politician, says one thing, acts another

gabrielshorn2013

Such as?

Hayduke2

Great to see a reasoned and rational approach to an issue.

“I could look at it from a partisan perspective, but that’s not appropriate,” McKay

this statement says so much about Steve McKay, tells me he's a deep thinker and has ethics and morals that seem to be so lacking in our local politicians ......

stevemckay

Thank you for the kind words.

All the People want from their politicians is for them to base their decision making based on what is fair and appropriate...you do that and we the "people" could become "we the people" ......because that's all we want is fair and appropriate decision making based "on the whole" not the part.

shiftless88

I agree. Thank you, Steve, for all you do for our county.

Hayduke2

Steve does his due diligence and makes reasoned decisions.

Plumbum

Still upset that Steve was lobbied into voting for Stink Eye Kye’s ridiculous balloon ban

stevemckay

Yes, as you like to point out with every article that has my name in it. Pretty silly issue to focus on but that’s okay - you do you.

gabrielshorn2013

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup] Mr. McKay!

Plumbum

Or picture!

shiftless88

Plumbum gets pretty obsessed about a couple of things and off she goes.

Plumbum

Persistence.

And, Steve is smarter than that. Referring to the balloon law. He is. He really is.

C.D.Reid

Yes, persistence, Pb. You know all about it, don't you?

gabrielshorn2013

Persistance? No, perseverance, as in perseverant behaviors, as on obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). "Ten minutes to Wapner".

public-redux

Mr. McKay, Some years ago the Led commenter asserted that a hotel and conference center in downtown Frederick would lead to higher city expenditure for snow removal.

Plumbum

Not in that context redux. I mentioned that the construction activity from large trucks with lowboy trailers carrying heavy machinery to and from could damage the water and sewer pipes under the road. Which, a few people didn’t understand what I was talking about.

gabrielshorn2013

Yeah, she likes to throw $#!+ at the fan, but forgets that you shouldn't stand in front of it when doing so.

public-redux

Perhaps you are getting wifty, pb,as the years have gone by. You raised three concerns, one of which had to do with public dollars for construction and two of which did not. The two that did not were snow removal and litter clean-up. For reasons never identified, you stated that the city would spend a lot more on snow removal and picking up litter if a hotel was built. Your concern about the sewer system was specific to public funding. You insisted that the Plamondon company should build the hotel with private dollars but that if public dollars were involved the construction would damage the sewer system. All three were memorable because they were ridiculous.

Plumbum

Public. You are writing out of memory. What you wrote is not accurate, and what you recall is merely your interpretation. It would be best if you quote me word from word, along with any comments that I replied to.

Also, never did I say the sewer system would be impacted differently public vs private funding. Out of context. If you understand you a lowboy trailer swings turns - you would have known what I was talking about. But you don’t understand how a lowboy trails when turning, and you’re not aware of the potential weight being pulled around - therefore my concerns don’t make sense to you. We have a former county commissioner in the industry, and I have no doubt he knows exactly what I’m takin him about. Like I said, quote me word from word, along with subsequent replies, as you are not in context.

public-redux

Btw, Why do you think heavy construction equipment would increase the cost of snow removal? That’s a new one, even for you.

As for your convenient memory of what you wrote, you are sadly mistaken. Go ahead, find your comments, and prove me wrong. Perhaps what you are attempting to say is that you didn’t mean what you wrote. That may be.

C.D.Reid

She loves to "do" herself, Steve. [lol]

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