Redistricting Walton County

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

  1. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    How is that any different than what you have now? The sad thing is the south end has the numbers to make a difference, just too indifferent to show up at the polls. This weeks Herald had a letter from a south walton business threatening to band together and vote the commissioners out if they did not vote her way on the wedding issue, interesting thing, since the person making the threats rarely shows up at the polls. Maybe the group she is going to band together has a better record. Problem is under the current system, most is decided in the primary and south Walton is not made up of primary voters.
     
  2. 30A Skunkape

    30A Skunkape Mr. Small Box

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    That is certainly true. And a shame.
     
  3. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Well we don't currently have any commissioners that reside in South Walton.
     
  4. idlewind

    idlewind Beach Fanatic

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    We could have had either Hudson or Osborne if we had only voted for them.
     
  5. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    I did vote for Osborne.
     
  6. wrobert

    wrobert Beach Fanatic

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    C Jones lives in her district which is totally south of the bay. Both 3A and 3D leave that district totally south of the bay. 3A has one additional district which is part south and part north. 3D has two districts which are part south and part north. So explain, if you can, how 3D is not common sense, it gives you the possibility of having 3 sitting commissioners residing south of the bay. No other map does. So voting against 3D is actually voting against increased representation for citizens south of the bay.
     
  7. Matt J

    Matt J SWGB

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    Hmm, interesting how you state she lives south of the bay. I remember expense reports that showed a 30 mile trip into work. :scratch:
     
  8. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    Walton County redistricting meeting is next week - Wednesday, June 29 in Paxton at Ag Center at 2 p.m. Traveling from some South Walton locations will take over an hour so plan ahead. There are some nice little restaurants in nearby Alabama you might want to patronize before the meeting. Or consider a daytrip to see Florida's highest point at Britton Hill in Lakewood Park area near Paxton. The Ag Center is on the east side of 331. The Paxton High School is on the west side of 331.

    Congressional, State and House redistricting meetings have also begun. Over 250 people attended area meetings in Ft. Walton Beach and Panama City. State and Federal guidelines are posted at www.FloridaRedistricting.org and the public is encouraged to comment and submit their own plans. Great information about redistricting rules. I particularly recommend a look at Population Over/Under numbers. Current maps of Florida Congressional, State House and State Senate are also easily accessible. A recent United States Department of Justice ruling has confirmed that where an incumbent lives cannot be considered. Having compact and contiquous districts are required. Having compact districts, as much as practicable, was a common theme at congressional and state seat hearings. You can see archived videos of these meetings at above website. Federal laws must be followed in this process. Unless properly and legally noticed, individual committee members could not hold a meeting on redistricting and all communication and emails are subject to open meetings laws.

    Walton County Plan 3D does not meet basic redistricting guidelines as it is not compact nor contiguous and should be thrown out. Communities of interest are also divided. The other two plans are in compliance of meeting redistricting guidelines of One Person One Vote, following the Voting Rights Act of 1964 as amended in 1965, are compact, contiguous, and respect communities of interest to name a few.

    South Walton has the numbers for two majority districts. People in South Walton have expressed a desire for two districts. The comment that South Walton people were clamoring for three is a mystery and a fable. When new numbers are collected for a possible odd year redistricting, which Walton County has done in the past, it is very likely that South Walton would have enough numbers for two complete districts. Check school numbers and add in a parent or two for some early indications. With just some minor changes to current maps, a fair and equal plan for all of Walton County can be achieved with South Walton having two majority seats, middle Walton with one, and North of Hwy 90 Walton two. District 5 is currently 5,000 people malapportioned. By just moving it back to close to its 2000 borders, equality can be achieved. Thank goodness we got a better census count in 2010 than we did in 2000. Everyone worked really hard to make that happen. Lets not let that hard work go to waste.
     
  9. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    Primary and General Election South Walton Voting

    South Walton has had an anemic PRIMARY voting record in the past. However, SoWal votes big in the GENERAL election, especially in Presidential Election years. Recently, local county commission races have only fielded Republicans so the election was OVER in the PRIMARY, thus North Walton that votes in bigger primary numbers determined recent elections. Even with early and absentee voting, that SoWal voters are crammed into a few voting precints (4) versus NoWals numerous precincts (29) may have some effect and certainly needs to be adjusted. In 2000, there were democrats and republicans in the primary and South Walton elected two commissioners in the general that actually lived in SoWal and respective districts, before and after the election. In the most recent election, some primary voting numbers progress was made. With new social media influence and extraordinary work by many, there is a great chance that South Walton will turn out in record numbers for both the PRIMARY election and GENERAL election. Maybe this is what some are worried about.
     
    Last edited: Jun 24, 2011
  10. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    Redistricting in Paxton today June 29 2 pm

    Redistricting Meeting is Today, Wednesday, June 29th up in Paxton Ag Center on 331. With state redistricting in progress, maybe more have had a chance to review Federal and State laws that apply such as being compact and contiguous. South Walton has the numbers for two mostly SoWal like communities of interest districts. With district 1 being mostly SoWal, commissioners and school board members might show up at community events and hold and attend meetings that are important to South Walton residents. District 5 is 5,000 malapportioned. The plan 3D is a facade of possible 3 SoWal commissioners, doesn't maintain core of prior district and should be thrown out as it does not meet many redistricting standards.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  11. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    Dunelaker, are you telling me that during all the meetings by the re-districting committee and all the support offered them by the county, they managed to submit to public scrutiny a map (3D) that was not in compliance with the requirements necessary? Are you sure its not just your interpretation of the map? Please, explain to us what your real reason for wanting your map is? It takes away from a possible increase in representation in South Walton that 3D appears to offer. I hope the meeting in Paxton today brings to light all possibilities in the re-districting effort.
     
  12. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    Yes, Andy A, it (Plan 3D) doesn't meet standard redistricting guidelines of being compact, contiguous, respecting communities of like interest or maintain the core of prior districts. Unbelievable, but true. Plan 3D is what they (appointed committee members) wanted, drew and what they voted on with very little voiced and disclosed reasoning behind their vote. The meeting and redistricting was pretty much over after the 2010 election. Andy A, plain and simple of why I would have liked a plan that met these requirements and provided fair representation for all of Walton County. I want the best for Walton County, and plan 3D isn't it. Most people would not care to participate in this process and put up with its known contentious nature. Its almost over. The commissioners and school board members just have to bless. Not sure what, if any, effect a complaint to the United States Department of Justice would do. This will probably just have to be one of those "I told you so" moments as it plays out. I would have been quite happy with the committees 3A map with a little numbers work, but they threw that out before they got started. There were some fair, workable plans they could have chosen. With five each commissioners and school board members, South Walton has the numbers mostly for 2/5 of said seats, not 3. What's fair about trying to stretch to 3? Knowing how to count, never expected to see some of the fair compliant plans adopted, but still can't believe they adopted the one they did. More citizens should participate. Maybe they'll do so after this plays out for a bit.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2011
  13. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    `Dunelaker, thank you for your response. I feel there are two sides to this story and I have friends on both sides. I am not sure we are getting the straight skinny from either one. What were the results of the Paxton meeting today?
     
  14. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    It was a lightly attended meeting, unlike the 40 or so that showed up for the South Walton meeting. Most of those who showed up in South Walton meeting did not drive up or attend the Paxton meeting. A private citizen from Sandestin spoke against 3D as did another South Walton resident, but lawyer Lloyd Blue spoke for it 3D and mentioned developers/owners Tom Bechnel and Peter Bos. Lee Perry of South Walton spoke in favor of 3D saying he liked the idea of 3 South seats. Tom Terrell of Mossyhead was in favor of 3D. A few others sat quietly and observed. Most striking action other than the adoption of 3D without the individual members saying why they were voting for it, was the early action of the committee to throw out the committee's plan 3A, which imo needed just a little numbers work to be okay. Robert Nelson was the only one to vote against this action. It also occurred without any extensive discussion by the committee. A reporter was there from the DeFuniak Springs Herald and perhaps recorded all this "non" action and "little in depth" discussion on this important, complicated topic before voting. Not a lot of light was shed except by Bonnie McQuiston and Ronnie Bell who probably talked the most. I think Ronnie drew plan 3D and Bonnie has been going around promoting. (not sure how that works into open meeting laws and notice for meetings, but oh well). Bottom line, they quickly voted after the brief public comment section ended. 10 zip I think. Think they are ready for summer vacation and ready to pass this off to commissioners and school board members.
     
  15. Jdarg

    Jdarg SoWal Expert

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    So if I understand this, 3D will give us 3 districts, but our representation will most likely come from north of the bay. Which, in our experience, has not been a good thing for SoWal.
     
  16. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    Why, South Walton has just been taken care of here. With North Walton having a good lock on their interests and the Okaloosa developers having control - the Jay Odom Freeport District 1 and the Tom Bechnel, Peter Bos Districts 4 and 5 - there is no need for South Walton people to do anything but fish, play golf and hang out at the beach. The Okaloosa developers even have their candidate picked or certainly have him preening in the wings.
     
  17. scooterbug44

    scooterbug44 SoWal Expert

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    The article in the Herald mentioned something about the costs for all this being around $30 million for all the travel etc. Any truth to that?
     
  18. miznotebook

    miznotebook Beach Fanatic

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    The $30 million reference was to reports by some media (not the DF Herald) about the cost of the STATE redistricting process. The legislators disputed those reports but did not give a number for what the cost was. It does get a little confusing with the different redistricting processes going on now.
     
  19. DuneLaker

    DuneLaker Beach Fanatic

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    And ... it could be a very good thing for Jay Odom's Freeport interests and developments. It takes the sparsley populated 388 new four lane roadway corridor to the new West Bay Airport from South Walton and puts it in with Freeport. Freeport representative will probably make decisions about evacuation, travel and business development in this part of South Walton. Guess we should also look for new West Bay airport area evacuation/training center.
     
  20. Andy A

    Andy A Beach Fanatic

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    It would still seem that we have five Commissioners that we can contact with our praise, suggestions and complaints. If we vote for all five, it is my contention they will listen to what we have to say, particularly if it is as a group.
     

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