Brundidge Council discusses census, ethics requirements

Published 8:01 pm Tuesday, January 4, 2011

When the 2010 United States Census Bureau figures are released in the next few weeks, the city of Brundidge could be facing the arduous chore of redistricting.

Brundidge City Manager Britt Thomas told the city council Tuesday that redistricting is a possibility that won’t be confirmed until the census figures are released.

Thomas said there are computer programs available that can make the task of moving numbers around much easier.

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“Redistricting is more difficult than you might think because it involves moving people rather than lines,” he said.

Redistricting would mean a change of polling places and notification to all those involved. Any time voters are shifted from one district to another there can be confusion and disruption.

Thomas said in the event the census mandates redistricting, the changes will be made in the best interest of all concerned.

The council looked back at the 2000 census figures and compared them to the 2005-09 American Community Survey, which is an ongoing statistical survey by the U.S. Census Bureau. The ACS regularly gathers information previously contained only in the long form of the decennial census. It is the largest survey other than the decennial census that the Census Bureau administers.

Thomas said according to the ACS estimates, the population of Brundidge is holding steady and that its age 65 and older population will climb as will the number of Hispanics in the community.

Thomas pointed out to the council members that only 59 percent of the town’s population holds a high school diploma compared to 80 percent nationwide.

The Brundidge City Council also discussed the new ethics requirements.

Thomas said Gov. Bob Riley called a special session of the Legislature to deal with ethics reform. This reform requires mandatory training on ethics law, effective immediately.

All legislators, constitutional officers, cabinet members, executive staff as determined by the Governor, municipal mayors, council members and commissioners, county commissioners, local boards of education and lobbyists must be educated on the Ethics Law.

“In addition, all public employees required to file Statements of Economic Interest forms must receive training” Thomas said. “This just means that all of these public officials and the specified public employees will have classes to go through.”