Redistricting plan back in forefront for county officials

Redistricting plan back in forefront for county officials
By CHRIS MENEES
Staff Reporter
A revised reapportion-ment/redistricting plan will be presented to the Obion County Commission when it meets Nov. 21.
The commission was originally asked to consider adopting a plan during its Oct. 17 session, but the action was tabled after lengthy and sometimes heated discussion.
The county’s reapportion-ment committee met again Oct. 24 to reconsider the redistricting plan and unanimously adopted a modified plan which apparently meets all re-quirements to keep numbers balanced, keep districts as compact as possible and protect the minority vote as required by law.
The Obion County Budget Committee was presented with the modified plan at its session Monday morning and voted to send it to the full county commission for consideration at its November session.
Both federal and state law mandate reapportionment and redistricting. Reap-portionment refers to the allocation of political seats among units and is most commonly used in reference to the distribution of congressional seats among the 50 states, while redistricting refers to the delineation of boundaries for political units, such as state legislative and county commission districts.
The redistricting is done every 10 years based on the most recent census and, according to Tennessee Code Annotated, the state’s county governments are required to redistrict by Jan. 1, 2012.
In other action during Monday’s budget commit-tee meeting, which was opened with prayer led by chairman Danny Jowers, the committee:
• Voted to send to the full county commission a county Debt Management Policy presented by the county’s finance committee. Obion County Mayor Benny McGuire said the policy is required to be in place by the first of the year and he said the committee devised a policy which is “as basic and simple” as possible.
• Put a report from the county’s Indigent Care Trust Fund on the full commission’s agenda.
• Approved sending to the commission separate resolutions for the county clerk to collect motor vehicle regulatory fees (city stickers) imposed by the towns of Troy and Obion.
• Rolled to the January budget committee meeting a presentation by commissioner Jerry Grady, who was not in attendance at Monday’s meeting. The budget committee and the county commission do not regularly meet in December.
• Voted to present to the commission a resolution regarding five delinquent tax properties which have been offered to the City of Union City for $1 each. McGuire said Union City’s city attorney requested a resolution for the action.
• Approved an in-house budget transfer for the sheriff’s department in order for some porcelain toilets in the jail to be swapped for stainless steel toilets.
• Approved sending to the county commission a budget-related action for the highway department. It did not involve any new funding.
• Learned the county’s agriculture committee bid out and awarded bids for the leasing of the farmland at Everett-Stewart Regional Airport and the Obion County Nursing Home. The contracts will take effect Jan. 1, 2012.
• Was informed several pieces of county equipment will be sold during a surplus equipment auction Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. on Law Lane, alongside Highway 51 North and next to the Obion County Law Enforcement Complex, in Union City.
Items include highway department trucks, equipment, parts and shop tools, three sheriff’s department patrol cars and courthouse office furniture and equipment.
• Voted to place appointments to several boards and committees on the commission’s agenda.
• Approved placing notary public applications on the commission agenda.
• Congratulated McGuire for being named president of the Association of County Mayors of Tennessee, as well as Jowers for being chosen as president-elect of the Tennessee County Commissioners Association. Jowers said it is always good for Obion County to have representation on statewide boards and associations.
• Learned the former Lindenwood School was bid out and purchased for $11,000. Published in The Messenger 11.8.11

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