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Dandridge, Tennessee

August 29, 2011

Committee Finalizes Redistricting Plan

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Redistricting Plan Heads To Commission

The Jefferson County Redistricting Committee met on Tuesday, August 23, 2011 in the Conference Room of the Jefferson County Health Department. 

The Meeting was called to order by Committee Chairman Turner. 

Committee Member Tucker made a motion to approve the minutes of the August 9, 2011 meeting. 2nd Estes and approved unanimously.

Citizens Garland McCoig and David Holland requested to address the Committee. Chairman Turner stated that it had been determined that there would be no citizen input in the redistricting process. He said that the citizens could address the Committee if the Committee requested their input. Committee Member Beeler made a motion to allow citizens to 

speak before the Committee. 2nd by Committee Member Tucker and passed unanimously. 

McCoig cautioned the Committee to be aware of district lines so that people will be voting in their community. He stated that his voting district had been changed out of Dandridge area and, not only did he have to travel a much longer distance to vote, he no longer voted in his community. McCoig said that it is important for voters to be treated with respect and to feel represented.

Holland echoed McCoig’s statements and requested that the Committee use caution in the redistricting process.

Charles Gibson and Larry Masters returned to the Committee with a new redistricting map that represented the motions that were made during the previous Committee meetings. The Committee determined that, along with meeting governmental guidelines of an overall deviation of less than 10 County wide, they would not displace elected officials from their represented areas. The Committee viewed map plan 5 which included the shifting of over 3,800 citizens to other voting districts. Because Jefferson County had a significant population increase in the last decade, and because the increase was located mainly in the greater Dandridge area, district shifts were unavoidable. The Jefferson County Election Office assisted in the mathematical divides to assure that guidelines were being met. The total population of Jefferson County is divided by districts. Each district has two Commissioner, with the exception of the 3rd, which has three Commissioners. Every Commissioner should represent relatively equal number of citizens, to ensure fairness in representation. The large population growth in the greater Dandridge area drove the number of citizens represented by a Commissioner up and areas that did not realize large growth over the last decade were short in numbers. Areas that did show heavy growth were largely underrepresented. Plan five called for a move of 67 citizens out of district 7 and into district 5 - Out of district 1and into district 5 are 971 citizens - District 2 will split the removal of 762 citizens into districts 7 and 5 - 1500 will move from district 5 to district 4 and 48 will move from district 8 to district 1. The plan allows for a overall deviation of around 8 which will meet governmental requirements. Districts 3,6,8,9 and 10 did not change because they met the standards. (excepting a small change in 8 to correct a pervious district anomaly) 

Director of the Election Commission Gibson stated that there was a possibility of changing the location of district 5 voting to Jefferson County High School, which would be a more centralized location for the entire district. He reminded the Committee that early voting is always an option , as well as absentee voting for those that qualify. The Committee briefly discussed other options that would include altering some districts that still met the deviation guidelines. Chairman Turner ruled that the Committee will not change any district that originally met standards. 

Committee Member Beeler made a motion to adopt plan 5 and send the recommendation to the full Commission for vote. 2nd Tucker

The motion included the option to address any unforeseen issues before submitting to Commission for vote.  The Motion to adopt passed unanimously.

Committee Member Tucker made and motion to move the September 6, 2011 meeting back, to be held immediately before the Special Called Commission Meeting on September 1, 2011. The resolution for adoption should be available by the meeting time. 2nd Maples and amended by consent to state 5pm as meeting time, to allow adequate time for any discussion needed. Motion as amended passed unanimously.  The meeting was Adjourned.

Staff Photo - Special Deputy Bud Stansberry, Patrolman Randy Humbard, Sgt. Mark Denton, Sgt. Montee Bowen, Chief Deputy Tim Carter, Sheriff G.W. Bud McCoig

Sheriff's Department Gets 5 New Editions

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department has five new cars on the road. The newest additions to the fleet will replace vehicles that have excessive mileage. Sheriff McCoig stated that some of the department’s cars are turning over 200,000 miles and have been sorely in need of replacement for awhile. The Sheriff tries to cycle the high mileage cars to be used by officers at the various schools, where the sight of a County Sheriff’s car can act as a deterrent for trouble. Gas mileage is important during these tough economic times and so is the sticker price. The new vehicles get around 29 miles to the gallon and the County goes in with the State to place a bid for replacement cars. This allows the Jefferson County to purchase at a deeply discounted price and saves the taxpayers money. All of the new cars are issued with two sets of hubcaps and the Sheriff decided the option that is best for the cars. Sheriff McCoig is also careful about tires for departmental cars and tries to get the most quality for the least price, though he is not spending additional funds on the tires. The five new replacement cars are actually last years budget items. The purchasing process takes time and it is even longer to outfit the vehicles. 

Staff Photo
The recent troubles in Japan slowed down the process, as the paint for the units originates there. Sheriff McCoig is pleased that the new vehicles are finally on the road and that his Officers and Detectives have reliable and speedy transportation. 

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