The Panola County Commissioner’s precinct is due to be changed after the latest census information showed a population gap of 21.32% between the four constituencies.
The commissioners met Thursday morning for the first of two drawing workshops.
Phillip Arnold and Josh Bristol, along with Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP, were on the phone for the meeting, with a map presentation and potential new constituency lines in the county.
“District one is the biggest district and district three is the smallest, so… we need district three to take over part of district one,” said Arnold. “Districts two and four could stay the same for the most part. “
Bristol explained what the lines mean on the map and where some of the boundary lines are in the county.
“For example, you had one that went out until ’79, then up Terry here,” he said. “And then you also had district two going down from 572 to Wellington. So what we did to sort of resolve the population between one and three is to take part of enclosure two as well, so an enclosure here, and then to gain the population that two lost, we in. took more than one that was so overcrowded from that area here.
“So that balanced out the districts, brought it down to less than a five percent total gap, which is great,” Bristol said. “But of course you all know your neighborhood and what your people are going to like or hate better. It is only a preliminary plan that we have come up with that would solve your deviation problem.
Most of the changes are taking place within the city of Carthage.
“We can draw these lines in different ways and move the districts any way you want,” Arnold said. “I think we have a lot of options with Panola County, because Carthage is the center, it’s where the people are, it’s where all the neighborhoods meet. There are a lot of ways to cut the cake so to speak. So if you all want to see us move these neighborhoods, move the lines, that’s what we’re here to do today, and just tell us how you want to do it, and we’ll stand by your side and let you go. think about it all for a moment and let us know what you want.
In order to prevent enclosure three from wrapping around enclosure two, they gave two a bit of one and a bit of two. Enclosure four stayed the same because its population hadn’t really changed, and they didn’t need to modify it to balance speakers one and three, Arnold said.
The commissioners said they were satisfied with the plan. The only complaint was the movement of Davis Park out of District Two.
“The only thing that concerns me is the way we move our ballot box out of Davis Park,” Pct. 2 said Commissioner David Cole. “I have to find another place to put it.”
Election administrator Loretta Mason added it would cause a lot of confusion for their constituents because they have been voting there for so long, but Commissioners and Judge David Anderson agreed they would just have to do what they had to do.
The second drawing workshop is set for Thursday, October 21 at 9 a.m., and the final plan will be adopted on Tuesday, November 9 at 1:30 p.m.