Prince George's County Council Member Sue V. Mills followed the renegade course of her colleague Ann Lombardi earlier this week and introduced yet another redistricting plan -- which means the council has four plans to choose from when it acts on the legislation Nov. 24.
Mills decided to introduce the plan to the council Tuesday, saying, "We've already got three plans, we might as well get them all in."
The Mills plan, officially CB 186, is the reincarnated Wynn-Smith plan, created by black Glenarden activists Albert Wynn and Dennis Smith. During public hearings, the plan received the support of Josie Bass, president of the county chapter of the NAACP, as well as other black leaders, because it would ensure three majority black districts, two with majorities of 70 percent or more.
Mills, whose political career was launched by her strident opposition to busing, said she favored the Wynn-Smith plan because, "It's pretty much a community plan" that does not divide municipalities, does not split the Greenbelt and does not separate Montpelier from the College Park area. The plan, Mills admitted, also reunited her with her traditional base of support in the Oxon Hill area. Mills had been isolated from most of the precincts in the area by the other three plans currently under consideration.
Mills said her plan would better withstand legal challenge because its districts are more uniform in population size. She noted that citizen groups have criticized the variance in at least two of the other plans.
Mills' plan also would force many of the incumbents to run against each other, and thus, said one council member who asked not to be named, "loses votes right there."
The other plans currently under consideration are the Hendershot plan, recommended by the redistricting commission after several stormy months of work, and a slightly modified version of that plan introduced by Council Member Gerard T. McDonough. Last week Council Member Ann Lombardi introduced a plan that was rejected by the commission; it was drawn up by Republican and former Hogan aide Ella Ennis.