Census 2010: Magistrates OK redistricting plan

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Workshop arrives at shift to balance 42,000+ residents

By Lisa King

When some Shelby County magistrates expressed dissatisfaction last week with how their new district boundaries might look after the ongoing redistricting process was complete, Shelby County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger said they were going to “roll up their shirt sleeves” and work out those problems.
And that’s just what they did Tuesday night at the Stratton Center in a workshop that delivered a new district map that met everyone’s satisfaction.

“I’m really happy with it,” District 3 Magistrate Allen Ruble said.

“Are you happy with it, Tony?” Rothenburger asked District 6 Magistrate Tony Carriss, who had expressed concern last week at losing constituents.

Carriss said he was.

County Clerk Sue Carole Perry, who also attended the work session to make sure there were no problems with precinct boundaries, also said she was pleased.

“It looks really good now. You all did a really good job,” she said.

The effort to even out district boundaries must take place each 10 years, when the census is conducted, to make sure each district has an even number of residents.

A population surge in Western Shelby County and in the city of Shelbyville required shifting among the districts, and what the magistrates didn’t like about how a committee charged with reapportionment had suggested 8,600 more residents be distributed among the seven districts was that some magistrates both gained and lost constituents.

“We tried to figure out how to give or just take away,” Rothenburger said. “You disrupt a lot of precincts otherwise, and that may discourage people to vote. So we tried to keep it as stable as possible to keep people in their area.”

Eddie Kingsolver in District 5, in the Clay Village area, added the most people, at 1,041, followed by Bill Hedges in District 4 (Bagdad), who gained 394.

Almost an equal number of people were taken away from Michael Riggs, in District 2 (Simpsonville), and Mike Whitehouse in District 7 (Finchville), with 1,210 and 1,213, respectively, to balance things out.

Ruble, who serves the north-central area, and Carriss, whose district extends to south to Mount Eden and Waddy, gained 503 and 571, respectively.

Rothenburger chuckled at Magistrate Hubert Pollett’s minute change in District 1 in the city core – the district that experienced the least amount of change – losing 14 people.

“There was nothing for him to do except sit there and smile,” Rothenburger said.

Districts must be adjusted to comply with Kentucky Revised Statues, which requires that the number of people in magisterial districts be determined by the number of people in the county.

With a census of just more than 42,000 residents in Shelby, each district must contain a minimum of 5,710 people and a maximum of 6,311, and what the magistrates came up with complied with those figures.

Rothenburger said that although he does not expect any more changes to be made, magistrates could still tweak the numbers as late as October.

“We don’t expect to have another workshop, so we will be providing maps to magistrates and Sue Carole [Perry], and they will look over them to make sure everything is OK, and she will start  to work on the written boundary descriptions,” he said. “Then we’ll give those records to the newspaper, so you can do a story and get it out to the public, so people can start calling their magistrates and election officials if they have any concerns before we start the process on the ordinance.”

Riggs said he was glad magistrates were able to have to work session.

“It gave us the chance to have some interaction and input with the process, and we appreciated that,” he said.


District numbers

District 1: Original 5,974; now 5,988

District 2: Original 7,490; now 6,280

District 3: Original 5,451; now 5,954

District 4: Original 5,587; now 5,981

District 5: Original 4,953; now 5,994

District 6: Original 5668; now 6,139

District 7: Original 6,951; now 5,738