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Panel to redraw commission, school board lines

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Augusta’s ad hoc redistricting committee meets for the first time Tuesday to elect officers and set criteria to use as the city redraws its commission and school board lines.

Former state reapportionment director Linda Meggers, now working as a consultant assisting numerous Georgia municipalities with the process, is scheduled to give a redistricting presentation, although she hasn’t been officially hired to redraw the city’s lines.

“The main thing we have is a population shift,” said Augusta District 7 Commissioner Jerry Brigham, a member of the committee.

Census figures from 2010 indicate several Augusta commission districts, which currently coincide with Richmond County Board of Education districts, likely have fallen significantly below the ideal eighth of the population they should contain.

According to a presentation Meggers gave to Georgia Municipal Association in the spring, there cannot be greater than 10 percent deviation in population from the “ideal district size.” The new districts cannot dilute minority representation and under the Voting Rights Act of 1965, must be cleared in advance by the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Augusta Commission’s appointees on the committee include District 4 Commissioner Alvin Mason, District 5 Commissioner Bill Lockett, Super District 10 Commissioner Grady Smith and Brigham.

Serving for the board of education are District 1 representative Marion Barnes, District 6 member Jack Padgett, District 7 member Frank Dolan and Super District 9 representative Venus Cain.

Legislators serving on the committee are Augusta Sen. Hardie Davis and Reps. Barbara Sims, Quincy Murphy and Wayne Howard.

IF YOU GO:

The redistricting committee is scheduled to meet at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 20, in Augusta Commission Chambers, 8th floor, 530 Greene St.

Comments (13) Add comment
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Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/19/11 - 02:26 pm
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They can take their sweet old

They can take their sweet old time here. That's because Augusta commission races are non-partisan, thus there are no primary elections for these seats. They can get the districts drawn by next August and still have elections in November.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/19/11 - 02:27 pm
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Sadly, a committee of twelve

Sadly, a committee of twelve people can get unwieldy. It would have been better with five or six.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/19/11 - 02:30 pm
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I hope the Chronicle will

I hope the Chronicle will publish the 2010 census population figures for the currently-drawn eight districts, or at least post a link to where to find them. I submitted a request to Augusta Cares a few weeks ago for this information and all they did was suggest I go to the federal census web site. It was no help at all, because the federal census web site does not have the latest numbers and does not have the Augusta commission district population tallies.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/19/11 - 03:48 pm
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I find the population shift

I find the population shift for the Commission districts important, too. It may have lots of ramifications.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/19/11 - 04:22 pm
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Susan McCord wrote, “Census

Susan McCord wrote, “Census figures from 2010 indicate several Augusta commission districts . . . likely have fallen significantly below the ideal eighth of the population they should contain.”

Well, if "several" districts have fallen below the one-eighth target, it stands to reason that several others have risen above the one-eighth target.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/19/11 - 04:27 pm
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Susan McCord wrote, “The new

Susan McCord wrote, “The new districts cannot dilute minority representation. . . .”

In Augusta/Richmond County, whites are the minority.

Taylor B
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Taylor B 09/19/11 - 04:42 pm
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Fox, henhouse, blah blah

Fox, henhouse, blah blah blah.... im sure these politicians will be fair in drawing their own districts, ha ha!

Riverman1
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Riverman1 09/19/11 - 06:26 pm
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LL said, "In Augusta/Richmond

LL said, "In Augusta/Richmond County, whites are the minority."

Ha...wonder how they intend to handle that little matter? Think there will only be 3 districts left with majority white residents?

joebowles
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joebowles 09/20/11 - 11:48 am
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Here is the data and changes

Here is the data and changes from the census:
district/Population Growth/Loss % Deviation
001 20,893 -4,175 -16.65%
002 22,369 -2,699 -10.77%
003 29,920 4,852 19.36%
004 28,273 3,205 12.79%
005 23,345 -1,723 -6.87%
006 23,096 -1,972 -7.87%
007 25,709 641 2.56%
008 26,981 1,913 7.63%

joebowles
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joebowles 09/20/11 - 11:53 am
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I tried to post data but I

I tried to post data but I couldn't. Basically Districts 1 lost 16.65% D2 lost 10.77%, D3 gained 19.36%, D4 gained 12.79%, D5 lost 6.87%, D6 lost 7.87%, D7 gained 2.56% and D8 gained 7.63%.

Austin Rhodes
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Austin Rhodes 09/20/11 - 01:54 pm
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Oooh...THIS is gonna be VERY

Oooh...THIS is gonna be VERY INTERESTING...oh...and under the equal protection laws...that "white minority" thingy is also going to bring some high comedy/drama.

jimbob
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jimbob 09/20/11 - 03:25 pm
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There is a Black MS America

There is a Black MS America but not a white, there is the NAACP but not a white one, and now you think they will care if whites are the minority it will not matter to the Government or the blacks HOGWASH won't happen!

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 09/20/11 - 04:24 pm
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Thank you for posting the

Thank you for posting the data, Commissioner Bowles.

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