County still struggles with redistricting

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 14, 2001

Staff Writer

Census figures were announced months ago, but governmental entities are still struggling with how those numbers will impact district lines.

Pike County Commissioners met with a representative of the South Central Alabama Development Commission on Tuesday, to further discuss the proposed redistricting lines.

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After being presented a new map that color codes the six commission districts, commissioners talked amongt themselves and with the SCADC representative.

The map presented Tuesday has only Ray Goodson (District 4) and Charlie Harris (District 5) struggling to arrive at a better solution.

According to that map, Goodson’s proposed district has a total population of 4,633 and a deviation of 6.10 percent. Harris’ proposed district has 5,194 with a 5.27 percent deviation.

Goodson’s district is the largest in both road miles and population. Census figures put him 777 over the ideal population for a district.

"We’re just going to even up the numbers," Goodson said after beginning discussions with Harris. "I’m going to have to give up 500 people."

He does not expect "a lot of changes" as far as the overall makeup of his district is concerned.

"I don’t think we’re close," he said of having a final map to send to the Judicial Department for approval. "It’s going to be a long, drawn out thing."

Harris, whose district will likely abut Goodson’s, had to gain the most ­ 843 ­ after the Census results.

"I don’t like it, right now," Harris said of the map in his hands.

Harris has his own ideas.

"I drew this map at home, and that’s what I’m sticking with," he said pointing to another map on the table before him.

Harris faults inaccurate Census results with the problems he and Goodson are now experiencing.

There can be no more than a 10 percent total deviation and there was a 27.5 deviation after the Census 2000 figures were released.

Those numbers indicated Districts 4, 5 and 6 would change the most, impacting Goodson, Harris and Karen Berry. The other three districts will likely see little change in the final map.