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City Council approves redistricting

Published on Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Greer City Council approved the redistricting ordinance tonight setting in motion the procedure for the Justice Department to approve the plan.

Council approved Map 2, 6-0, as the new district plan. Councilman Lee Dumas was absent. Map 2 was selected because it met redistricting guidelines and the districts remained similar by roads.

The plan will be forwarded to the Office of Research and Statistics for the South Carolina Budget and Control Board in Columbia to write the formal plan and include a quantity of detailed documentation and demographic information. That process is estimated to take up to 30 day before forwarded to the Justice Department.

Routinely the Justice Department can take up to 60 days before approval. Requests for additional information may add 60 more days. Elections, postponed in August, now means the earliest they can be held is June 2012. Three district seats, the mayor’s office, and one Commissioner of Public Works will be rescheduled.

Councilwoman Judy Albert referenced that a subdivision in her district six was split and asked if any remedy could be found to keep it whole.  “Any change to that would move another line and that would be problematic,” Mayor Rick Danner responded.

Wayne Griffin, councilman of district two, was among three (Danner and councilman Wryley Bettis) members of an ad hoc committee that traveled to Columbia to find ways to balance the city’s districts. The use of census blocks instead of road/highway lines for district boundaries made any change all the more difficult and unlikely. 

Greer doubled its population in the past decade to 25,515 reported in 2010. The targeted representation, 4,200 residents per district, showed a wide deviation in four of the six districts.

District 6, with its population of 8,413 before redistricting, had to be halved to its present 4.292. A deviation of fewer than 5 percent is suggested. Greer falls well below that in each district. At least one minority district is required.

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