City Council districts may change
Published 2:18 pm Monday, October 22, 2012
Bainbridge’s City Council districts will be modified as part of a redistricting process to make them equal after the completion of the 2010 Census.
According to City Manager Chris Hobby, the city’s two Council districts are ideally supposed to be equal in two respects: the percentage of minority voters in each district and the total number of voters in each district.
Between the last time the council districts were changed and the present, the districts have become unequal, Hobby told the council at its Oct. 16 meeting.
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District A has two seats traditionally occupied by minorities, is roughly comprised of northeast Bainbridge and part of central and West Bainbridge.
District B, which has three seats, is roughly that area of the city south and east of Shotwell Street and the portion of city limits west of the U.S. 27/84 bypass.
Council Seat 1, which is elected at-large—meaning its holder can live anywhere within city limits—is also considered a minority seat under federal elections law, since all citizens vote on it.
The new map makes only minor changes to the two districts’ boundaries to make them almost identical in the total number of voters they have. If approved by the council, as well as state and federal officials, the two districts will also be closely equal in their racial makeup, within about a percentage point, Hobby said. The proposed districts were developed with the help of the Georgia House of Representatives’ Reapportionment Office.
Maps and descriptions of the proposed council districts will be published in The Post-Searchlight once a week for three weeks. They are also available for viewing on the city’s website, www.bainbridgecity.com, and a public copy will be placed at the Decatur County Library at 301 S. Monroe St.
The proposed districts will be reviewed by state and federal officials over the next 60 days, with a tentative final adoption by the City Council at its second meeting in January 2013.
Appointments made to city boards
To the Bainbridge Convention and Visitors Bureau board of directors, the council reappointed Alesia Brinson, Don Whaley, City Manager Chris Hobby, City Councilwoman Roslyn Palmer, Chamber of Commerce President Diane Strickland and Lindsey Miller of Holiday Inn Express as the hospitality industry’s representative.
The council also appointed Emily Yent and Al Collins to the Historic Preservation Board.
In a related action, the council unanimously agreed to amend the city’s Historic Preservation ordinance to remove term limits from appointees to the board.
In other business, the council
• Heard the introduction of a proposed ordinance to annex five acres of city-owned property at the city’s old landfill site off Avenue C into city limits. Hobby said the rest of the 20-acre site is already within city limits. The five acres in question is where the city plans to build a solid waste transfer station.
• Heard from citizen Steve Williams, who asked if city officials would lobby to have what he said was a rough railroad crossing on Griffin Street in West Bainbridge repaired by the railroad.
• Approved a request to close off the streets immediately surrounding the Willis Park Square on Nov. 8, between the hours of 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. to accommodate the Bainbridge High School homecoming parade and pep rally. Hobby said that he understood that this year, the parade route will be reversed, beginning near Bainbridge Middle School and ending at Willis Park, where the pep rally will follow the parade.