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Commissioners discuss hiring local firm to help with redistricting

Jerrie Whiteley
Commissioners discuss hiring local firm for redistricting help

Last week, Grayson County commissioners discuss hiring the local firm of Siebman, Forrest, Burg & Smith to help with redistricting.

After a rather lengthy discussion about the topic, Grayson County Judge Bill Magers proposed that they not make any decisions Tuesday, but bring the item back to the court next week.

Firm representative Clyde Siebman said redistricting is done every ten years and most often includes a lot of legal wrangling to complete. He said the first part deals with how the commissioner's precincts and justice of the peace precincts are drawn and that part is rather easy as it is is controlled locally. The next part, however, deals with drawing the lines for congressional seats as well as state legislative seats. Those discussions, he said, can have large implications for Grayson County but can also involve counties to the south. 

Those decisions, he said, can impact things like infrastructure money from the federal government. 

A lot of the work to be done, he said, can't really start until the Census count for 2020 is accepted and dealt with on a national level. However, he said, local governments have to be ready to go when they get those numbers so they don't fall behind in the process.

Grayson County Commissioner David Whitlock asked if there were a way to make the local county commissioners and justice of the peace precincts match. He said people come to him and want to know if they are in his precinct (Precinct 2)  why are they not also in Justice of the Peace Precinct 2? He said he can't answer that and wondered what could be done to make those match up. 

Siebman said there is some local control over that, they will just have to look into it as they go farther along in the process. Commissioner Jeff Whitmire asked if the commissioners precincts were divided more along the lines of population or miles? Both are considered, he was told.

Commissioners will discuss the matter further at a future meeting of the court.