Redistricting Walton County

Discussion in 'Local Government and Groups' started by miznotebook, May 3, 2011.

  1. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    The Walton County Redistricting Committee is holding a May 4 meeting in south Walton County to continue with the work of developing recommendations for boundaries of Walton County's five county commission and school districts. The committee members, appointed by the Walton County Board of County Commissioners and the Walton County School Board, are tasked with recommending boundaries that would make districts as nearly equal as possible in population, based on recently-obtained data from the 2010 U.S. Census. The public is invited to attend meetings of the committee and provide input. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. and take place at the South Walton Tourist Development Council meeting room at the corner of U.S. 98 and U.S. 311.
     
  2. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    If things go the way they appear to be headed from this last meeting, south Walton will enjoy the representation of three commissioners with the new boundaries instead of the current two. Ken is going to get the current and proposed draft maps on the county website soon so you can see the difference.
     
  3. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Can we change it so the people represented by those commissioners are the only ones who get to vote for them?
     
  4. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    Start a petition and get it on the ballot. I think it would be a great idea. Just going to take some work to get it passed.
     
  5. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    I believe what is being discussed here is changing from "at-large" election of commissioners? Wrobert, is it not true that if this change were made, with the proposed plan there would be only one district where the commissioner would be elected only by voters south of the bay--and that commissioners for the other two districts you spoke of would be elected not only by voters south of the bay but by those living in other areas of the county that would be part of those districts? I believe this is right and I think it is important to clarify. :)
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  6. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    Walton County currently elects all constitutional officials at-large. The only thing these districts currently do is restrict where candidates live. They are being changed to comply with Florida statute just like representative districts are changing all over this country after the census.
     
  7. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    I think I understand that part, but could you please give a little more detail about the petition that you referred to.
     
  8. Bob Hudson

    Bob Hudson Beach Fanatic

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    You are correct. In the plan only one district resides solely South of the Bay just as it is today.

    This plan creates a "Beach Commissioner" due to its boundaries, basically following a boundary that is consistent with "South of HWY 98" from Inlet Beach to Sandestin with only a few exceptions.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2011
  9. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    It is a mistake, IMHO, to change from an "at-large" vote to one of only voting for a Commissioner from a particular district.

    1) You stand the chance of pitting one district against another. It can stalemate or slow the function of the Commission.
    2) Your contact with Commissioners from other districts is the same as when you call Congressmen from other areas. Its basically ignored because you are not a vote.
    3) There is no sensible reason to change a system that works quite well for a majority of the population but negates the effect of "power brokering" by one group or another. I like the idea of being able to contact Commissioners from other districts and knowing at least I have a chance of being heard because my vote for them counts.
    4) Going to a vote for only one Commissionser when you can now vote for five is a bad idea.
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2011
  10. TechPyle

    TechPyle Beach Lover

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  11. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    All good points, but a politician who does not need a certain area's votes to get elected typically does not care all that much about that group.

    I'm okay not voting for the senator from Tennessee, because I know they care very little for my opinion and interests with so many other votes are out there.

    If all commissioners equally represent the voters of Walton County, why do we even have districts?
     
  12. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    You have to have districts to allow for representation according to population distribution, as designated by the census. It is one way, and there may be others just as good, to assure a citizen is given someone to whom they can complain or praise regarding their government so that their opinion may be passed along to the other elected officials. Hopefully, if your suggestion bears merit, it will be given consideration by all Commission members.
     
  13. TechPyle

    TechPyle Beach Lover

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    It seems that at least one person does not like any of the current plans for redistricting. Brenda Rees placed a letter in the Walton Sun that outlines her objections and how much effort she put into drawing up her own map. http://www.waltonsun.com/news/-6836--.html

    Of course with Mrs. Rees also being the wife of a former commissioner it could be that she has some other motives but who knows?
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  14. Bob Wells

    Bob Wells Beach Fanatic

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    TechPyle, I don't see where Mr Rees ran for any County seat since his defeat by Commissioner Brannon. So if you could explain what you mean I would appreciate it.
     
  15. rapunzel

    rapunzel Beach Fanatic

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    The major problem with the current map is that while it does add a third commissioner to the South Walton mix, it does that by carving out the northern half of Sandestin and adding it to DeFuniak-based District 4, and put's the core base of District 1 firmly in Freeport, with Point Washington and the north half of Rosemary lumped in with the Freeport district as a minority voice. We may have parts of three districts south of the bay, but we go from having two South Walton based districts to just one despite our huge population increase.

    Does anyone really feel Burnt Pine Residents have more common interest with southwest DeFuniak Springs residents than they do the people living south of 98 in Sandestin? Or that they should have to drive through two other districts to get to their Commissioners' office? Or that one commissioner should can handle the entire beach from county line to county line?

    The proposed map is not a good thing for South Walton.
     

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    Last edited: May 24, 2011
  16. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    This is going to get really interesting! If nothing else perhaps district 5 serves as the skeleton for the breakaway county of South Walton, not to be confused with south Walton or $outh Walton.
     
  17. BeachSiO2

    BeachSiO2 Beach Fanatic

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    I've looked at this map a few times and am confused. Does anyone have the population numbers for the area south of Choctawhatchee Bay. It seems to me that this area could be covered with two districts and not need three. The skip across the bay seems odd to me?
     
  18. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    Crap like this is why I am not at all concerned about Mr. Rees running again.

    Brenda loves maps and wants the new districts to be geographically logical, not gerrymandered nonsense.
     
  19. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    The Redistricting Committee meets again tomorrow (May 25) at 2 p.m. at the Freeport Community Center.
     
  20. TechPyle

    TechPyle Beach Lover

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    Bob,
    That was a mistake on my part I confused one former commissioner with another sorry about that. I tried to edit my post and change it before anyone noticed but I was to late.
     

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