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McDuffie County commissioners realign districts

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THOMSON — McDuffie County commissioners voted Thursday to realign commission districts. The split decision moves an area immediately west of Dearing from District 2 into District 1.

Dearing resident Ray Silverstein questioned the boundaries. Silverstein is an announced candidate for a District 2 commissioner seat.

The affected area is south of Augusta Highway, north of Iron Hill Road and west of Dearing to the old District 1 line. A V-shaped area was exempted from that transfer.

Silverstein said the realignment means many of the neighbors who support him will not be able to vote for him.

Silverstein has not announced whether he will run against Commissioner Bill Jopling or Commissioner Paul McCorkle this year.

Jopling and McCorkle voted in favor of the new boundary, as did Commission Chairman Charlie Newton. Sammie Wilson was opposed. The Rev. Fred Favors was absent.

Wilson first tried to delay the vote until the board’s regular meeting Tuesday. When overruled in that attempt, he insisted on a roll call.

“It just kind of skirts the city limits,” Newton said of the new map. He described the shift as “very, very minor changes.”

Thomson City Council also voted, in a later session, to change some boundaries of council districts. Part of the area north of Georgia Street and west of Jackson Street is moved from District 2 to District 3. Other boundaries also shifted.

Newton said the maps needed to be approved Thursday so state Rep. Sistie Hudson, D-Sparta, can submit the bill to the Legislature in time for approval by the U.S. Department of Justice.

McDuffie and adjoining counties will hold a referendum on the proposed Transportation Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax. A move in the Legislature could postpone that vote from July to November.

School board seats are up for election in 2012, as are state and federal offices.


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