Reapportionment anticipated Monday by county commission

Friday, July 22, 2011

The political jurisdiction lines for all nine of Marshall County's election districts could change Monday night when and if a majority of the county commissioners vote for new lines.

The University of Tennessee's County Technical Assistance Service used computer programs including a Geographic Information System to help draw political lines between county districts, Elections Administrator Tristan Arnold said.

Approval of the new district lines is one of the more substantive decisions facing county commissioners when they meet on Monday at 6 p.m. Commissioners are also set to vote on:

* Increasing the fee paid by county jail inmates for work release so they may serve time overnight and work during the day. Perhaps 6-12 inmates are allowed to do that. They've been paying $15 per day. If approved, they'll pay $25 per day.

* Rezoning one acre owned by Robert L. Williams at 1869 Fayetteville Highway from an agriculture classification to a commercial zone to permit a used car lot. A public hearing on the request is to begin at 5:30 p.m. Monday in the County Courthouse Annex on Lewisburg's public square.

As for reapportionment of the districts establishing jurisdiction for county commissioners and members of the county school board, the proposed map is to be consistent with state law as required by the U.S. Constitution calling for equal representation. All nine districts are to have approximately the same number of residents.

The 2010 Census revealed tremendous growth in the population of the Chapel Hill area and other residential territories in the northern part of the county. The General Motors plant at Spring Hill has been a reason given by area residents and local officials.

The north end of Marshall County has been dominated by two large county jurisdictions: District 1 and District 2. Both will be smaller in terms of the physical size in acres and square miles.

"District 1 had the most growth in population," Arnold said. "It had to shrink in size and it will," assuming the commissioners approve it the elections administrator said.

"It will have to shrink because of the population size," she said.

And in accordance with laws on redistricting, "No commissioner has been placed in another district. That was one of the things we had to do" when new district lines were drawn."

The map showing the new lines, as well as the old lines was recommended by the county reapportionment committee," she said.

Meanwhile, "District 7 gained territory in the north east part of that district... and some districts were (changed) a little bit here and a little bit there...

"District 4 got larger to the northwest. It took part of nine and came into five, too," Arnold said.

An official copy of the map is to be published here, she said, anticipating it will be in color to show new lines, the former districts. Some roads will be shown to help voters find their residence.