Changes are coming to Warren County’s 12 voting districts once approved by the full Warren County Commission and the state.
The county Redistricting Committee has discussed changes to the districts. Members convene every 10 years to consider how best to balance the 12 districts after the U.S. Census determines population.
At one of the last meetings, E-911 director Chuck Haston said it comes down to mathematics: a population count of 40,953 divided by 12 districts and each district should have as close to 3,413 residents as possible.
“We started with some as far out as 12% difference and the biggest deviation we have now is 2.46%. We are well within the lines,” said Warren County election administrator Susie Davenport.
Davenport says on a statewide level, there are going to be changes in Middle Tennessee which may change how districts are drawn in the Tennessee House and Senate. This has the potential to impact Warren County’s representatives in the General Assembly.
Committee chair Randy England asked committee members for additional comments.
“We tried to make, in terms of the number changes, we tried to be conservative about it and not just go crazy and we tried to maintain the essential framework of where the districts were located,” said Haston. “I don’t think there is a district out there that did not have some change. There are changes to every district. Minimum changes.”
Commissioner Tyrone Sparkman voiced disproval of his district changing and picking up people from different areas. One of the new areas District 5 is picking up includes a housing authority and Sparkman was unhappy about that.
“Someone has to represent everyone in Warren County, and we have got to try to make the blocks as even as we can,” explained Davenport.
England went on to say he thought Davenport and Haston did a good job of sorting out the districts. He asked if anyone had any questions about redistricting and stressed they needed to vote on it Tuesday night.
“If it is approved, Susie can move forward with getting things sent to state and we will be a little bit ahead of the game. I would rather be ahead of the game as to fighting for the last few minutes to get to the end of the game,” England said.
“I’m just really not going to accept the 5th District so you can do whatever you want,” Sparkman said.
“Well I think it has been presented and they have worked on it hard,” said England. “Personally I think it is fine. I mean I don’t guess I am understanding what maybe the problem is.”
Despite Sparkman’s disproval, the committee went on and made a motion to move forward with presenting this to the full Warren County Commission at its November meeting. Officials will also have to have a meeting with the public to show the changes to the districts.
They are planning to have a town hall meeting with the public at 5 p.m. before the County Commission meeting on Nov. 15.