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Redistricting plan adopted unanimously


October 09, 2013
With just a couple of months before the end-of-the-year deadline to redraw the four county council districts, the Crawford County Board of Commissioners, at its Sept. 26 meeting, voted 3-0 to approve the proposal brought to it in August that best gets the population in each as equal as possible.

According to Indiana statute, each of the four districts must be compact and have contiguity, meaning they must be comprised of lands that aren't divided by another district, and preserve existing precincts. Plus, their populations should be as equal as possible, with a goal of having a population deviation of less than 10 percent.

Only one of the proposals brought to the commissioners in August by Crawford County Surveyor Reggie Timberlake had a deviation below 10 percent, at 8.96 percent. County attorney John E. Colin, who reviewed the proposals following that meeting, said it can be a challenge to balance the population while making sure the districts are compact and contiguous.

"I think this is probably the only version that gets us below that 10-percent threshold," Colin said, noting he had prepared an ordinance reflecting new districts based on that proposal.

The makeup of the current districts are:

District 1: Jennings 1, Jennings 2, Whiskey Run 1 and Whiskey Run 2

District 2: Liberty 1, Liberty 2, Sterling 1, Sterling 2 and Sterling 3

District 3: Johnson 1, Johnson 2, Patoka 1 and Patoka 2

District 4: Boone, Ohio 1, Ohio 2, Union 1 and Union 2

The makeup of proposal with a proposed population deviation of 8.96 percent is:

District 1: Jennings 1, Whiskey 1 and Whiskey 2

District 2: Liberty 1, Liberty 2 and Sterling 3

District 3: Johnson 2, Patoka 1, Patoka 2, Sterling 1 and Sterling 2

District 4: Boone, Jennings 2, Johnson 1, Ohio 1, Ohio, 2, Union 1 and Union 2

"I think that Reggie has put a lot of time into this, in getting these lines figured out, and I'd like to make a motion to go ahead and accept the 8.9 (percent proposal)," District 1 Commissioner Daniel Crecelius said.

District 3 Commissioner Jim Schultz said can accept that proposal but added there are a couple of things he doesn't like.

"The largest district now will become the least populated district. The smallest district now, with this scenario, becomes the largest ," he said. "The other thing that I don't like about that one is the fact that District 4 encompasses such a huge, huge area. It's something I can live with. I don't necessarily like it."

"I think we need to do something," Crecelius said. "It's unfair we've got an election coming up and we've procrastinated, put this thing off. We need to get this thing done, because there are people out there that's wondering what district they're going to be in, if they want to run. It's not serving the public right not to work on this thing."

"And I agree," Schultz replied. "I don't have an issue with that."

Randy Gilmore, president of the board, said neither did he. However, before calling for a second to Crecelius' motion, he asked Timberlake and Colin to run the numbers on a proposal that would switch Sterling 2 and Sterling 3.

Following their calculations, Colin reported the population deviation would be 10.26 percent. With that, Schultz seconded Crecelius' motion to approve the districts with the 8.96-percent population deviation, and Gilmore voted yes.

Schultz then made a motion to accept the ordinance drafted by Colin. Following a second from Crecelius, the ordinance was adopted 3-0.

The Crawford County Community School Corp. currently uses the same map for its four board of trustees district seats. It is expected to continue doing so, but the board must formally adopt the new districts.

New council districts

The adopted districts, to take effect in 2014:

District 1: Jennings 1, Whiskey 1 and Whiskey 2

District 2: Liberty 1, Liberty 2 and Sterling 3

District 3: Johnson 2, Patoka 1, Patoka 2, Sterling 1 and Sterling 2

District 4: Boone, Jennings 2, Johnson 1, Ohio 1, Ohio, 2, Union 1 and Union 2

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