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Chatham county board adopt map to redraw county commissioner districts

Posted Thursday, July 28, 2011

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Pittsboro, NC - After a second public hearing on commissioner redistricting options, the Chatham County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 on July 18 to redraw election districts based on 2010 Census population figures. The new election district map will take effect during 2012, when two seats (Districts 1 and 2) will be up for election.

“We have selected the second map option under consideration because it most effectively and fairly serves the county,” said Commissioner Vice Chair Walter Petty. “It provides the most equitable balance of population between the five districts.” Click here to view adopted map.

Based on the 2010 Census, the map options were drawn to provide 12,700 residents per district, plus or minus three percent, even though the law allows greater variation.

Commissioner Chair Brian Bock said that it is important for residents to know that the revised map does not change the way that commissioners are elected, such as adding more commissioner seats or having some commissioners elected by district voters only. “At this time, we will continue as is requiring each commissioner to reside in a specific district, but all of us are elected by voters countywide.”

After the 2010 Census results, the current commissioner election districts were not evenly divided, said Bock. The five existing districts now range in population from 10,957 (District 5) to 17,088 (District 1). Under the newly adopted map taking effect in 2012, the commissioner district population range would be 12,430 (District 4) to 13,021 (District 2).

Besides balancing population, Bock said that another key factor in the map’s development was geographic features. “We considered town limits, major highways, township lines, major rivers or other features as much as possible. In the end, Siler City, our largest town, is again divided into two districts, just as it was before. It is hard to avoid that without creating odd boundary lines or very large districts in that region of the county.”

Bock noted that the Chatham County Board of Education has not yet redrawn its districts based on new population figures. “I would encourage them to use the map adopted by the Board of Commissioners tonight. I realize that all map options we considered in this process would place some school board members in the same district together, if they adopted it. However, drawing the map to preserve all current school board member seats would have made it impossible to end up with a map for commissioner elections that was as equitable for the county as the one we approved.”

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Chatham county board adopt map to redraw county commissioner districts

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