Final Reapportionment Maps Available; Rep. Wagner to Keep Whitehall Office Open

'The only way to describe the hand dealt to my constituents by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission is a raw deal.' - Chelsa Wagner

Whitehall Borough and Baldwin Township (State House)

Chelsa Wagner (D-Brookline) was sworn-in as Allegheny County Controller on Monday, but she won't be paid for it. At least not yet.

Instead, Wagner will remain on the state government's payroll and forgo her county salary in an effort to serve her constituents as a state House representative for Pennsylvania's 22nd Legislative District.

Wagner's district—which includes , Castle Shannon Borough and parts of parts of  and the City of Pittsburgh, is moving to the Allentown area—approximately 300 miles east—according to the state's final reapportionment plan.

"If I resign (as a state representative) before the reapportionment is finalized," Wagner said, "the residents of Brookline, Beechview, Mount Washington, Castle Shannon, Whitehall and other communities will lose a resource to which all Pennsylvanians are entitled. For this to happen before I am fully assured that they will be accommodated is untenable to me."

The state Supreme Court will consider any challenges to the new reapportionment map before it finally takes effect. District reapportionment .

As the new map details, residents in Wagner's 22nd House District would be split up, with the entirety of Baldwin Township and Whitehall being moved into Rep. Harry A. Readshaw's 36th District. Previously, Whitehall residents were split between Wagner (Districts 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15 and 16) and Readshaw (Districts 5, 6, 9 and 12). Baldwin Township, as a whole, moves from the 22nd to the 36th.

Four other House representatives in Allegheny County would pick up the pieces left behind by the 22nd District's move to Allentown: Daniel DeasyJake WheatleyMatthew H. Smith and William C. Kortz II.

Wagner will monitor state House affairs remotely while fulfilling her duties as Allegheny County's newest controller. However, the law allows for officials serving concurrently in two offices to collect only one public salary.

"Taking over as County Controller is a huge undertaking, and I am absolutely dedicated to fulfilling those duties for the taxpayers of Allegheny County," Wagner said. "However, my state House constituents also elected me, and I don't take my responsibility to them lightly. I'm going to make sure they're taken care of.

"The only way to describe the hand dealt to my constituents by the Legislative Reapportionment Commission is a raw deal. We have single neighborhoods split into three legislative districts, which is causing great concern and confusion.

"When citizens don't know where to turn to access their public officials, that's disenfranchisement. I won't walk away from them until they've been prepared for these changes."

Wagner's offices and will remain open with regular hours.

"I would never claim that serving in two offices at once is an ideal situation," Wagner said, "but neither is a constituent seeking help with an unemployment claim or heating assistance arriving to a locked door and a closed sign with no notification of where else to turn."

Baldwin Borough (State House)

residents would also be affected by the new reapportionment plan.

The new plan calls for Readshaw's 36th House District to include Districts 2, 3, 4, 9, 12, 13, 15, 16 and 18 of Baldwin Borough (essentially the middle part of the municipality).

Baldwin Borough's District 1—and only District 1 (the northernmost part of the borough)—moves to Rep. Paul Costa's 34th House District.

Kortz—who has —has the 38th House District, which would include Districts 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 11, 14 and 17 of Baldwin Borough (the southern part of the municipality).

State Senate

Senatorial districts are also being reapportioned, but Baldwin-Whitehall residents should have no confusion as to whom their state Senate representatives are.

Baldwin Township would remain entirely in Wayne Fontana's Senate District 42, Whitehall Borough remains entirely in John Pippy's Senate District 37, and Baldwin Borough remains entirely in Jay Costa's Senate District 43.


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Robert Edward Healy, III January 06, 2012 at 09:41 PM
CORRECTION: Five House representatives in Allegheny County would pick up the pieces left behind by the 22nd District's move to Allentown: Harry A. Readshaw, Daniel Deasy, Jake Wheatley, Matthew H. Smith and William C. Kortz II. (Kortz picks up Castle Shannon.)
Robert Edward Healy, III January 07, 2012 at 01:12 AM
ML, I believe that you'll have to look on the map here: http://www.redistricting.state.pa.us/Maps/.


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