Duncanville City Council Holds Town Hall Redistricting Meeting

Filed under: City |

On Monday, October 17, 2011 the Duncanville City Council held their Town Hall Meeting regarding the redistricting of the single-member council districts at the Duncanville Library and Community Center meeting rooms.

In the October 3 City Council workshop members developed a proposed redistricting map to facilitate public discussion and input.

Attorney Bob Hager explained that after each census the council must look at the population distribution of each district and the variance cannot be more than 10% between the least populated and most populated districts.

Currently the difference between District 1 and District 4 is 13.8%, according to the 2010 Census.

The United States Department of Justice requires that when looking at redistricting, two things must be taken into account;

  1. One person/one vote. Hagar said that the council must look at the general population of the district to determine that each person gets equal representation.
  2. After completing #1, you look to see if because of the district lines if a minority group is being disenfranchised and if so, you look at the voting age of the those living in the district to alleviate

At that time the floor was opened up for citizens to address the issue of the proposed redistricting map.

The following citizens spoke on the issue:

  1. Keith Reed stated that he appreciated having Grady Smithey as his representative and encouraged the council to keep Smithey representing his neighborhood.
  2. Wesley Jameson questioned how the different populations were used to figure representation. Hager explained that it was an exact science and that the Department of Justice used both figures to make sure that all citizens were represented fairly. Jameson went on the question why the lines were moved in all districts when the disparity was between districts one and four and why not take them all from four.
  3. Earle Jones said he approved of the plan as it was presented.
  4. Allen Conley stated that the proposal seemed fair and the population was equally distributed.

No other persons asked to speak and the public hearing was closed at 7:17pm.

The council members were given an opportunity to address the issue.

  1. Grady Smithey stated he supported the plan.
  2. Don Freeman said he supports the plan.
  3. Johnette Jameson asked why she was losing half of two streets and why all the districts were moving lines when only one and four were having issues.
  4. Leslie Thomas stated that this was political. She said that she saw a trend of having to do this every time.  That you couldn’t keep moving all district lines when only two are having issues.
  5. Scott Cannon said he was happy with the map and all districts stayed contiguous.

Grady Smithey moved to approve map B modified and have the city staff draw up the ordinance to be reviewed and voted on by the council in the first meeting in November.

Freeman seconded the motion, but questioned why this was necessary for only 13.8% deviation. Hager explained that the Department of Justice required it if it was over a 10% deviation.

Jameson that asked why you just couldn’t pull from district 4 and move them to district 1. Hager explained that you can’t move lines and hurt the chances of an incumbent being reelected.

The council then voted and the motion and it passed 5-2 with Jameson and Thomas voting against.