AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – Soon you’ll be able to tell the Augusta-Richmond County Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee your opinion.
“It’s a big map. That’s a lot of area to cover so to think one or two people could look at it and fully comprehend everything on there is silly,” Richmond County Board of Elections Executive Director Lynn Bailey.
Dates are now set for public hearings to redistrict Augusta-Richmond County. Committee Chairman Sean Frantom said they’re hitting the road.
He explained, “We’ll start next Monday. Go Monday, Wednesday, Monday, Wednesday for the next two weeks.”
The first public hearing will be at Belair K-8 School (3925 Harper Franklin Ave, Augusta, GA 30909) on October 18 at 6:00 p.m.
The others will be as follows:
- October 20 at Diamond Lakes Elementary (4153 Windsor Spring Road)
- October 25, 2021 at Academy of Richmond County (910 Russell Street)
- October 27, 2021 at Wheeless Road Elementary School (2530 Wheeless Road)
All of the public hearings will start at 6:00 p.m.
A good amount of people have already sent some of their concerns to the committee according to Frantom after the draft map was released about a week ago.
He said, “I think that they think the draft is the plan. It’s just a start done by somebody in Atlanta who didn’t really understand all of the neighborhoods in the community but it’s definitely a start.”
“We’re not asking our citizens to go out there and try to draw a plan for us. That’s what this committee is doing but what we hope to do is provide the tools for citizens to use to review the map and point out things they would like to see done differently,” said Bailey.
She noted four additional neighborhoods are being split under the draft map.
She added, “But we also know that 10 years ago when we redistricted, we had 10 or 11 neighborhoods that were split back then. People may want to try to have some of those neighborhoods be put back together.”
At Wednesday’s committee meeting, Bailey demonstrated how the new interactive draft map works.
She said, “You can zoom down and actually look at parcels in a neighborhood and see the street that they are on, which commission district they’re in, and how many people live there. And what the ethnicity is of the people who live there.”
The redistricting committee will meet again in November after the public hearings. Frantom says no changes will be made to the draft map beforehand. District 3 has had more than 20% of growth in the last 10 years. Bailey calls the area the “difference-maker.”
To submit redistricting input online, click or tap here.