Commission looks to people for input on redistricting

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, January 8, 2002

Staff Writer

Pike County Commissioners are still dealing with the Census figures released many months ago.

Unlike, the city councils of Troy and Brundidge, the county commission has not approved its new district lines.

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On Jan. 21, the county commission will have a public hearing to give citizens a chance to offer input into the redistricting plan. That meeting will be at 3:30 p.m.

There has been quite a bit of discussion on the redistricting plan, especially regarding District 4, represented by Commissioner Ray Goodson and Commissioner Charlie Harris’ District 5.

Under a plan previously presented, Goodson’s proposed district had 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, which is the largest in both road miles and population, has to change significantly because Census 2000 figures put him 777 over the ideal population for a district.

"I’m going to have to give up 500 people, so we’re just going to even up the numbers," Goodson said.

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

Goodson has predicted "a long, drawn out thing" before any plan can be presented to the Justice Department.

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

Harris had his own ideas about how his district should look and was not totally pleased with the original plan presented by South Central Alabama Development Commission.

So, he drew his own map at home and has been working with the SCADC so he can "stick with" it.

Harris said inaccurate Census results are contributing to the problems commissioners are facing while trying to draw the district lines.

When considering a mapped out plan, the commission has to keep in mind there can be no more than a 10 percent total deviation and there was a 27.5 deviation after the census figures were released.

The census figures 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.

A copy of the map, created by the SCADC, is available for review at the Commission Office, located downstairs of the Pike County Courthouse, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. during the week.