Proposed redistricting could oust two Warren County constables from their districts.
A special session of the county Redistricting Committee was held to consider what can be done to prevent the loss of District 6 Constable Junior Pennington and District 12 Constable Matthew Bratcher.
Both Pennington and Bratcher were moved into District 11 in the committee’s effort to balance the current population of 40,953 equally among the 12 districts. Constable Ed Farmelo represents District 11.
“Junior Pennington has been a constable for as long as I can remember,” said Commissioner Randy England. “He’s a good-working constable. So, he came to me with that concern. It’s doable to put where Junior lives back into District 6. That block is 44 people. If we move that block of people, we still fall within the 5%. That’s what needs to be talked about tonight.”
England did not offer a solution for Bratcher, “There’s no way that we can work to help him out. It’s just too much the way the shift was made. I promised Junior that we would get together and talk about it before it gets to the Warren County Court. I feel like it’s better to take care of it tonight, rather than in the full court session.”
E-911 director Chuck Haston disagreed.
“I do believe that making changes now would be out of sequence,” said Haston. “I don’t care what happens in the end. I don’t have a stake in that. I do have some convictions about how the process goes. That is, we solidified the lines based on the information we had and based the lines on the information we were provided. We had a core mission of setting County Court boundaries. No politics were involved here.”
The committee was tasked with balancing the districts, said Haston, and that was accomplished without giving special consideration to anyone.
Commissioner Tyrone Sparkman motioned to move the block of 44 residents from District 11 back into District 6, which would allow Pennington to remain as a District 6 Constable.
The measure failed 4-3.
Voting to not move the 44 residents were Commissioners Daniel Owens, election administrator Susie Davenport, Haston and County Executive Jimmy Haley. Voting in favor of moving the 44 residents were England, Sparkman and Commissioner Phillip Stout.
A public viewing of the proposed changes will be held Nov. 15 at 5 p.m., just prior to the 6:30 p.m. full Warren County Commission meeting.