AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – “The Summerville Area is a hot area for the entire community,” said Ad Hoc Redistricting Committee Chairman Sean Frantom.
District 3 Commissioner Catherine McKnight tells NewsChannel 6’s Wes Cooper she’s pleased after Wednesday’s ad hoc redistricting committee meeting.
She said, “It seems like that there’s going to be other ways to do this and I feel pretty good.”
McKnight and others are strongly opposed to splitting up District 3. It is under the redistricting draft map a state office made.
“The neighborhood association just wants District 3 to stay together as much as possible. We’re already split into districts. The majority of our neighborhood, we’re represented by Catherine Smith-McKnight and we still want to be represented by her as much as possible,” said Summerville Neighborhood Association, President Maggie DeLoach.
Redistricting committee members have not drawn new lines yet.
Frantom explained, “We’ll do that next week within the meeting. We’ll look at the maps and tweak some things the committee members want to do.”
Several of them say they want to bring some of the already split Augusta neighborhoods back together. The committee approved an increase to the population deviation which was just a half percent. It cannot be raised more than five percent.
“The higher it is the more opportunity to keep neighborhoods together and ultimately that’s what we’re trying to do. As a committee is to put neighborhoods back together and like interests back together so that’s kind of what the committee agreed upon that we would keep at 2.5% between the districts,” said Frantom.
McKnight added, “There’s a way to do this without having to chop up what’s being done. Maybe having to go to other districts and work from other districts and then come to District 3. Instead of going straight to District 3 and trying to push everyone out, there’s ways to do this. There’s several ways to do this.”
Right now, District 3 is about 6,000 people over the recommended district size. The redistricting committee will meet again on November 17.