Commission denounces district plan

Published 10:54 pm Thursday, May 24, 2012

On the same day the Alabama Legislature approved new districts, the Chilton County Commission issued a resolution opposing the plan.

“We feel like it’s diluted the representation of Chilton County as a whole,” Commissioner Bobby Agee said, echoing the sentiments of the rest of the commissioners in attendance at the special meeting.

New district lines for the state Senate and House of Representatives are drawn every 10 years with the completion of a new census.

Commissioners on Thursday expressed concern that Chilton’s influence in the legislature would suffer if it went from being represented by one senator and one representative, to two senators and three representatives.

The redistricting plan must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Alabama Supreme Court, and it those bodies to whom the commission’s resolution would be sent.

Agee requested the resolution be amended to include sending a letter alogn with the resolution, to detail specific concerns.

State Sen. Cam Ward (R-Alabaster) and Rep. Kurt Wallace (R-Maplesville) told The Clanton Advertiser earlier this month that they thought the plan was fair.

“I’m concerned about the people of the county,” Commissioner Allen Caton said. “The county as a whole is not going to be getting the same representation.”

The commission voted unanimously in favor of the resolution, except for chairman Tim Mims, who was absent.

Under the Senate map, Ward’s District 14 would keep all of Clanton, Jemison and Thorsby but lose Maplesville and Verbena; while the southern part of Chilton County will move instead to District 30.

Under the House plan, big bites in the northeast and western part of the county will be moved to other districts.

District 49 would gain a sliver of Jemison and everything back toward Montevallo along Alabama 155; while most of everything west of Clanton toward the Coosa River would be moved into District 81.

The changes would go into effect in 2014.