New districts wouldn’t hurt Chilton CountyPublished 5:33pm Friday, June 1, 2012
By Kurt Wallace
I would like to respond to the article in the May 25 edition of The Clanton Advertiser titled “Commission denounces district plan.” I can appreciate the county commissioners’ concerns about the new redistricting lines in Chilton County. I expect no less from them.
However, to say that with the new redistricting plan certain areas of the county will not have adequate representation is just not true. As we all know, we elect our county commissioners “at large” under the assumption that any commissioner, living anywhere in the county, can adequately represent any family in our county. How many times do we see all our commissioners in our own neighborhoods? Yet, rightfully so, we believe they can represent our needs.
We have state representatives and senators that live in Washington, D.C. We keep re-electing them, so we obviously believe they can represent their constituents in Alabama. How is a representative living one county away any different? Because I am in the “Shelby County Delegation,” I get phone calls from people all over that county. I don’t pass them along to someone else closer to them; I do my best to handle their problem just like I do for the citizens of Chilton County.
These new districts will not take effect until 2014. If both Mark Tuggle (would represent the far eastern part of the county) and April Weaver (would represent the northwest corner of the county) are re-elected, we will be getting two of the best and brightest representatives in our state Legislature today.
Many of the counties in this state have multiple representatives; our neighbor to the north, Shelby County, has nine (six representative and three senators). Just look at all the industry and retail businesses that are flourishing there. Why? Do they have a better location than Chilton County? Are their workers any better or smarter than our workers? Absolutely not! They have been successful because they have a lot of influence in the Legislature that is pulling in funding and resources for their county.
We’re going to have five voices and five votes in the Legislature pulling for things that matter in Chilton County. This is a good thing!
–Kurt Wallace is the state representative for Chilton County.