• 50°

Another hearing set on county redistricting

[12/18/01]Warren County voters will have one more chance in January to tell the county’s governing board what they think about seven proposed plans to redraw the county’s voting district lines.

Also at the Monday meeting, supervisors approved the interlocal agreements worked out with Vicksburg officials Wednesday.

The next hearing, authorized on a 3-2 vote, will be at 6 p.m. on Jan. 7, the board’s first meeting of the year. Favoring the session were District 1 Supervisor David McDonald, District 2 Supervisor Michael Mayfield and District 3 Supervisor Charles Selmon. Against were District 4 Supervisor Bill Lauderdale and District 5 Supervisor Richard George.

The issue seemed to be whether any incumbents were placed in districts with other officials, but the discussion was not clear.

The board has been working on various plans since hiring Central Mississippi Planning and Development District as its consultant in May. All state and local election lines must be reviewed after every census.

Changes since 1990 indicated Warren County needed new lines for district elections which include supervisors, election commissioners, school board members, justice court judges and constables.

The board worked with CMPDD to come up with four plans for a five-way split. Two of the plans included portions of the City of Vicksburg in each district, but those plans did not meet federal tests for minority voting strength. Two other plans, one devised with the guidance of all five board members and one with the guidance of Selmon, whose district is now completely inside Vicksburg, met those requirements.

At the first of two public hearings in October, a group of citizens presented a plan and then presented a revised plan at a second hearing.

Supervisors then revised one of their plans to include some of the changes suggested by the citizen group. All seven of the plans have been available for inspection in the supervisors’ board room at the Warren County Courthouse, but only 14 people had signed in to look at them.