Lee County BOE hold public hearing for redistricting

The Lee County Board of Education and County Commissioners plan to vote for the same redistricting proposal

After reviewing 2010 Census figures, a committee of two Lee County Commissioners and two Lee County Board of Education Members came up with a proposal for new district lines.

"The Board of Education and County Commissioners have worked together to best select the map they think will best suit the needs of the county," says Supervisor of Elections Veronica Johnson.

This week Lee County is reviewing their proposal. First up for a public hearing was the Board of Education.

"We came away with three different proposals that we felt like each one would meet the requirements of the law, would be fair as possible," says Board of Education Vice-Chairman Robert A. Clay.

A new fourth proposal was designed after minor tweaks were made. Overall, the five districts' populations were adjusted by approximately one percent to reach the ideal population count of 5,659 per district.

"When we got the Census numbers, we found a deviation: District 3 was about 1,600 over; District 1 was roughly 1,100 short. So the map had to be shifted and tweaked," says Johnson.

The Board of Education will vote on the proposal Monday, July 25 at their next meeting. Following that vote and a vote by the County Commissioners, the plans will be sent to state legislators in August for Special Session. Johnson says they hope the plans will be in place for the 2012 election.

Children's schools will not be affected by the proposed lines, but Board of Education members will be.

"This has nothing to do where students go to school. It's more which board members represents you when you go to the ballot box on Election Day," says Johnson.

To avoid confusion on Election Day, the Board of Education and County Commissioners plan to select the same district line instead of having two different ones.

But when the Board of Commissioners votes on the proposal, they could select a different one.

"They could, but we have had some conversations with them and the goal is we both adopt the same zones," says Clay."It would be good that the two boards adopt the same zones to save a lot of confusion."

The Lee County Board of Commissioners will have their public hearing on Tuesday at 5:15 p.m. in the T. Page Tharp Building.

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