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Compromise Augusta district maps submitted

Friday, March 23, 2012 4:29 PM
Last updated Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:15 AM
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Voting districts in Augusta-Richmond County might not be decided by a federal judge after all.

Sen. Jesse Stone, R-Waynesboro, Ga., said he’ll introduce a compromise map of city commission and Richmond County Board of Education districts at a Monday meeting of the Senate Reapportionment and Redistricting committee. The map, called Plan 2R and based loosely on the second map created by a local ad hoc committee last year, keeps District 6 closer to the “swing” district it is under the existing districts, Stone said.

“What my goal has been is to make that district reflective of the overall demographics of the county,” Stone said.

The compromise also seeks to meet criteria adopted by the ad hoc committee of keeping majority-black district percentages less than the 70-plus percentages they were in the original Plan 2, he said.

Sen. Hardie Davis pushed for that criteria on the ad hoc committee, saying he preferred “coin-toss” districts that fostered alliances to solid black districts.

Davis joined Stone on Tuesday in pulling both existing map proposals from Senate consideration and declaring the process over.

Stone said that he since had heard from constituents who desired the mapping process not be left up to a federal judge, a costly prospect that would require all sides hire legal counsel.

“The prospect of leaving it up to the courts sparked a renewed interest in trying to get something through the legislature,” he said.

The new proposal needs only approval by the reapportionment committee, not the Augusta legislative delegation, to go before the full Senate for approval.

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Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/23/12 - 05:49 pm
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As we have seen with the

As we have seen with the child-molester-statute-of-limitations bill, these last-minute maneuvers where no one has a chance to study and offer suggestions for improvements end up giving us the worst type of legislation. I wish they'd just let the Justice Department draw the map in secret and cram it down our throats.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/24/12 - 06:37 am
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"Both sides would have to

"Both sides would have to hire lawyers."

Here we are in 2012 still divided racially enough to have a black and white side. I don't want to hear anyone tell me how much progress Richmond County has made in the past few years with race relations and everyone working together.

Riverman1
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Riverman1 03/24/12 - 06:46 am
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If I were the white side, I'd

If I were the white side, I'd be very careful about this going to the feds.

Little Lamb
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Little Lamb 03/24/12 - 07:45 am
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I wish the article would have

I wish the article would have mentioned how this proposed "2R" map handles districts 1 and 7. The original proposal split off some neighborhoods that had traditionally been in District 7 (National Hills, Waverly, and Lake Olmstead) and put them in District 1. The residents of those neighborhoods were not too happy.

Of course, it could be a blessing if those neighborhoods got put in District 1. One would presume that those neighborhoods would oppose the city-paid ballpark downtown. Perhaps they could swing the election to a commissioner that opposes the ballpark.

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