Letter: 'A Slap in the Face'
Changes to a redistricting plan are "laughable," according to one citizens group.
Cherokee Citizens for Kids has penned a new letter, the contents of which are below.
Our local delegation (Representatives Byrd, Hamilton, Hill and Jerguson) have drafted new legislation, HB1223, which replaces HB978; however the new legislation is hardly an improvement over the first. Our delegation has made it clear that they will take any steps necessary to remove duly elected School Board members from office who did not vote on issues the way the delegation dictated. The new School Board map drawn by our delegation is laughable and a slap in the face to our community.
For example, two posts are split by Lake Allatoona, and one post has absolutely no connecting point to land. Other examples would be the BridgeMill subdivision and the Towne Lake community are both divided between two school board posts. The school attendance zones were not taken into consideration. Some schools could be covered by 3-4 board members. Under the delegation’s proposal, voters would elect a Board member from one post, and their children attend schools that are mapped into another post.
Our delegation has stated that because the School Board did not unanimously approve their own map (it passed by a vote of 5-2), the task fell to the delegation. There is no law that requires a governing body pass such resolutions unanimously in order for them to be considered by the local delegation. The maps designed by the School Board take into account neighborhoods, school attendance zones and geographical barriers. They are fair and balanced. Furthermore, Representative Jerguson has continuously stated throughout the process that the common "principles of redistricting" will be followed. Two of these principles (continuous geographic boundaries and unnecessary pairing of incumbents) are blatantly disregarded in the proposed maps.
The Cherokee County School District took great care and time to gather input through a variety of meetings and communications. They have proposed a map that is fair, balanced and allows each of the incumbents to remain in his/her post until the next election. This is the second time that our representatives have disregarded the will of the majority of our citizens, and they place all of the responsibility for the map on Representative Hamilton who does not live in Cherokee County, does not have children in school in Cherokee County and will not run for re-election in Cherokee County because his district has changed.
Please contact your local delegation members and Governor Deal if you are concerned about their actions!
- Governor Nathan Deal - Web Based Contact Form
Calvin Hill, State Representative - email@example.com
Sean Jeguson, State Representative - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Hamilton, State Representative - email@example.com
Charlice Byrd, State Representative - firstname.lastname@example.org
Chip Rogers, State Senator - email@example.com
Jack Murphy, State Senator - firstname.lastname@example.org