Reapportionment accomplished without fanfare

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

With very little discussion Monday night, county commissioners approved a reapportionment plan that maps out their election districts and those for members of the school board.

A large color map is suggested for publication this summer, according to Elections Administrator Tristan Arnold's remarks in a telephone interview last week. Like redistricting itself, public display of the map is required.

The map conforms to requirements set forth in federal law based on the U.S. Constitution and a federal court ruling perhaps best known for its moniker; one man one vote. Like congressmen, commissioners and school board members are to represent approximately the same number of people.

Population growth in the northern part of Marshall County - frequently attributed to its proximity to Spring Hill and the General Motors plant - prompted the greatest change as the two districts there were reduced in physical size. Those had been Districts 1 and 2.

Now the district with the largest population is District 5 with 3,513 residents. They're generally in the central northwest part of the county, according to Doug Bodary of the University of Tennessee's County Technical Assistance Service.

The district with the fewest number of residents is District 3 with 3,242 residents, Bodary said.

The optimum number for a district is 3,402, he said. There's to be no more than a five percent deviation from that.

Commissioner Mike Waggoner introduced the reapportionment map and resolution to the commissioners. Commissioner Rocky Bowden, chairing Monday's meeting in Tom Sumners' absence, asked if here were questions and Commissioner Nathan Johnson spoke up about the quality of the black and white map included in the commissioners' agenda package. Commissioners are to get color printouts, Bowden said.

No elected official was subjected to political line changes that resulted in their home being in another district, Commissioner Mickey King said.

After a few more comments from Johnson, commissioners unanimously voted to adopt the map and its companion resolution.