Decision looms to split Augusta neighborhoods into new districts

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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF) – No changes were made to the redistricting draft map and it’s scheduled to go before Augusta commissioners Tuesday despite many concerns.

“I wanted to see them kept intact,” said District 3 Commissioner Catherine Smith-McKnight.

Under the proposed redistricting map, District 3 is divided into three different districts.

“Luckily, the western part of District 3 isn’t having to go through this. It’s the eastern part of District 3 which is the most historical area,” said McKnight.

McKnight and many others have been urging ad-hoc redistricting committee members since October to keep the Forest Hills and Summerville neighborhoods together. They are not under the proposed map.

McKnight said, “Put people through a lot of public meetings. Meetings I know that you were at and I’ve attended. And you come back to it and then they’re picking the map that had the four public meetings taken place because of that map so I feel like this is going to end up in court.”

McKnight believes there are other, creative ways to even districts out. In the last ten years, District 3 has had more than 20% of growth while all other Augusta districts have had less than two percent..

“If this was happening in any other part of District 3 I would be in support like I am right now with Summerville and Forest Hills. I would be representing them the same way,” said McKnight.

If approved, the map will head to the school board then local, state delegates.

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