State officials discuss proposed district lines

Published 11:44 am Friday, October 7, 2011

Alabama’s Committee on Reapportionment held a public hearing Thursday in Clanton to gather input on the state’s proposed congressional and state school board district lines.

State legislatures are required to redraw federal and state district lines every 10 years based on the current population.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Chilton County’s population reached 43,643 in 2010.

Sen. Cam Ward, R-Alabaster, said his goal for his first term representing Chilton County is to keep as much of the county in his district as possible.

“You’ve had so much growth that I think it’s going to be hard to keep it to one person, one vote,” Ward said of the county’s House and Senate seats. “My goal is to make sure Chilton County is treated fairly in this process.”

Along with Chilton County, Ward represents Shelby, Jefferson and Bibb counties. He said this is the most growth he has ever seen in District 14.

“It is a sign of good progress (and) positive growth,” Ward said. “I enjoy representing Chilton County. It is a fun community to represent.”

Clanton Mayor Billy Joe Driver and Probate Judge Bobby Martin also spoke during Thursday’s hearing.

“The only thing I would ask at this time is if it would be at all possible to keep the city limits of Clanton intact, not split,” Driver said.

Martin said he wants Chilton County to stay the same for voting purposes, using Shelby County as an example of what to avoid.

“My interest is to stay like we are,” Martin said. “I’m selfish; I want one ballot style. When you’re fixing ballots, you have to know what area to go to.”

The reapportionment committee will create a map of the new district lines and present it to the Legislature in early February, Ward said.