AUGUSTA (WJBF) – After months of work Augusta commissioners have approved the city’s new political map,
“I just don’t think you’re going to have everybody who’s truly happy or should I say somebody is not going to be truly happy,” said Mayor Pro-Tem Bobby Williams.
That’s true for residents in District 3, where because of growth since the last census the map shifts about five thousand voters to districts one and two.
The commissioner for District 3 voted against the map saying this will be confusing to some neighborhoods like Summerville.
“We have the neighborhood that I’m in where it’s being split up, and here you got a neighborhood association that’s supposed to have three different commissioners show up three different districts in one neighborhood,” said Commissioner Catherine Smith McKnight.
Commissioners voted six to four in favor of the map drawn by the state reapportionment office, it keeps the 8 districts across the city at roughly the same population as is required by law.
“We went ahead with the map that the state drew.it was the most fair map, non bias so we just went with that,” said Commissioner Alvin Mason.
Officials with the Summerville Neighborhood Association spoke against the map urging the city to keep working,
But the Baptist Ministers Conference asked for support it saying past maps also split neighborhoods.
“If that had been the standing standard that wasn’t adhered to in 2012 when the federal court oversaw the drawing of the district maps splitting neighborhoods in south Augusta,” said Reverend Anthony Booker.
Commissioner Sean Frantom chaired the redistricting committee, and he said more work could be done, however when it comes to approving the city’s new map the commission’s work is done.
The Summerville Neighborhood Association indicating to commissioners that legal action against the map is being considered.
The map must still be approved by the school board and the Augusta Legislative Delegation.