|Trinity Standard - Local News
Copyright 2011 - Polk County Publishing Company
Hearing set Aug. 22 on new precinct lines
Trinity Standard -
GROVETON – A workshop meeting and public hearing on proposed changes to the county precinct lines will be held at 1 p.m. Monday, Aug. 22, in Groveton. Trinity County commissioners scheduled the session during their regular session Monday, Aug. 8, after meeting with County Attorney Joe W. Bell on his redistricting efforts. Bell told commissioners he currently is finalizing a primary plan as well as three alternates that would balance the county population among the four commissioner precincts. Under state and federal law, redistricting occurs after each decennial census in order to assure that elected governmental officials such as county commissioners represent roughly the same number of people. The 2010 census indicated that while precincts 2 and 3 are within the acceptable population limits, Precinct 1 needs to lose at least 173 people. That precinct includes part of Groveton as well as the communities of Woodlake, Chita, Sebastopol and Carlisle. Precinct 4, in northern Trinity County, has to gain a minimum of 230 in order to meet state and federal requirements. That precinct includes part of Groveton as well as Centerville and Apple Springs. The 2010 census listed the county with 14,585 people and ideally, each precinct should have 25 percent of that number – or 3,646.25. However, a deviation of plus or minus 5 percent is allowed which means that each precinct must have between 3,464 and 3,828 people. Precinct 2, which includes part of Trinity as well as the Westwood Shores, Trinity Cove and Pinecrest Estates subdivisions, now has 3,822 people – only six below the maximum allowed. Precinct 3, which includes the rest of Trinity and the area north to Highway 287, was listed with 3,528 people, a number that is 64 above the minimum needed. During Monday’s meeting, Bell said the primary plan his is preparing will leave precincts 2 and 3 virtually unchanged and would adjust the line between precincts 1 and 4 inside Groveton in order to transfer people from Precinct 1 into Precinct 4. He noted part of the goal is to shift population without adding additional roads into Precinct 4’s road and bridge system. At present, that precinct maintains almost half of all county roads. One of the alternate plans would tackle the Pct. 1 and 4 lines in a slightly different way while the other two alternatives would require changes to all four precincts. In addition to changing the commissioner precinct lines, Bell said the redistricting plan also would change some of the voting box lines. He noted that during the last redistricting cycle following 2000 censes, the state split Trinity County between two U.S. congressional districts. That split in turn forced the county to draw some of its voting boxes to conform to the new congressional boundaries. Under the state’s 2011 redistricting plan, Trinity County will once again be in a single congressional district, which will allow the county to return the voting boxes to their traditional configuration. In addition, they are discussing the possibility of creating a new voting box in Precinct 2. At present, the precinct includes only boxes 11 and 17. Bell and Pct. 2 Commissioner Rich Chamberlin discussed creating a new voting box during Monday’s meeting but no final decision was reached. Chamberlin indicated he wanted to study the matter and discuss it with other Precinct 2 residents.