Carruthers said she has worked to represent Fairfield, including pushing for capital budget funds for the city’s Harbin Park project. The city received $700,000 for the first phase of the park’s redevelopment. The four-phase project will cost the city around $5 million.
“It really frustrates me because I’ve done such good things for Fairfield,” said Carruthers.
Rep. Thomas Hall, R-Madison Twp., also expressed frustration because he also lost jurisdiction. His district is to be renumbered to No. 46 and be limited to eastern Butler County including Madison Twp., Middletown and Liberty Twp. Trenton will be represented by the newly drawn 39th district, which includes Preble County and suburbs west of Dayton.
“You look at Trenton, all that development and industry they’re doing there. You look at Oxford, we’ve had really good conversations with Talawanda schools and the city of Oxford, and Miami University on development,” said Hall. “I was frustrated to see how much we’ve lost.”
While he’s grateful to have acquired new areas to represent, specifically Liberty Twp., he wanted to keep representing Oxford.
“Yes, there are people in Oxford that give us a hard time, but we’ve had town halls up there, we’ve had meetings up there, and I’ve really enjoyed Oxford,” he said.
Part of Hall’s current district makeup, most notably Trenton, will be represented by the newly drawn 39th district, which would be represented by Rep. Rodney Creech, R-West Alexandria, if re-elected next year.
Rep. Jennifer Gross, R-West Chester Twp., said she knew she couldn’t keep her rectangle-shaped district because the district, which includes Liberty and West Chester townships, had seen “the largest growth.” West Chester and Liberty townships and part of Fairfield Twp. had collectively grown by nearly 10,000 over the past decade, according to the U.S. Census.
She didn’t realize she would lose both Liberty and her part of Fairfield Twp. Gross said some people did write in, including Liberty Twp. officials, asking the committee to not change their representative, but “it didn’t change anything.” Her district, renumbered to 45, will represent southern Butler County, from West Chester to Morgan townships.
“I think that’s the hardest thing, for them, they felt unheard,” she said of her constituents. As a freshman lawmaker, Gross said she felt like she didn’t have much say in the process.
If Gross wins re-election in 2022, she said she will be “sad” to lose part of her district but will be “excited to meet my new constituents.”