STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
COUNTY OF HENDERSON JUNE 13, 2001
The Henderson County Board of Commissioners met for a special called meeting at 5:00 p.m. in the Commissioners= Conference Room of the Henderson County Office Building at 100 North King Street, Hendersonville, North Carolina.
Those present were: Chairman Bill Moyer, Vice-Chair Marilyn Gordon, Commissioner Grady Hawkins, Commissioner Don Ward, Commissioner Charlie Messer, County Manager David E. Nicholson, County Attorney Angela S. Beeker, and Clerk to the Board Elizabeth W. Corn.
CALL TO ORDER/WELCOME
Chairman Moyer called the meeting to order at 5:07 p.m. and welcomed those in attendance, stating that the purpose of this meeting was a Redistricting Workshop to discuss various alternatives that have been presented with respect to redistricting. He commented that there have been a couple of plans submitted; the League of Women Voters submitted to him a proposed plan which he distributed to all the Commissioners. Dixie Blumer submitted three possible plans which were copied and distributed to all the Commissioners. The Commissioners have had time to review the submitted plans.
Since the last meeting and in light of some of the proposals received, Mr. Moyer has worked with a number of the Commissioners to put together a plan which he thought accomplishes some of the benefits that Commissioner Hawkins was working on in his plan, some of the League of Women Voters, and Dixie Blumer, he has put it all together in a way that would accomplish and be fair to everybody and achieve what we=re trying to achieve, which is to have balanced districts. He thinks one of the key things is that the Board chose to satisfy the 10% rule. He also tried to get districts with some commonality of interests and similar characteristics. One problem they tried to deal with was to avoid the precincts. Based on the population data available and based on where we are today, it makes the best sense to use the precinct lines in establishing the districts. It will obviously create some problems in the future if precincts are changed, just like our current plan has.
PRESENTATION OF REDISTRICTING PROPOSALS
David Nicholson presented Chairman Moyer=s redistricting proposal:
District I Bill Moyer Hendersonville II 3,915
Flat Rock 2,565
South West 3,038
Hendersonville III 3,519
East Flat Rock 3,776
TOTAL = 18,615
District II Charlie Messer Hoopers Creek 2,155
Park Ridge 2,958
North West 2,809
North East 2,239
Moore=s Grove 1,818
TOTAL = 17,919
District III Marilyn Gordon Rugby 2,746
South Mills River 4,335
Pisgah View 2,258
Hendersonville I 2,938
Long John Mtn. 1,892
North Mills River 2,693
TOTAL = 17,581
District IV Don Ward North Blue Ridge 4,787
Clear Creek 3,551
South Blue Ridge 3,232
Bat Cave 880
South East 2,455
TOTAL = 17,700
District V Grady Hawkins Atkinson 2,910
Etowah South 2,517
Etowah Valley 2,376
Laurel Park 1,835
Horse Shoe 2,405
Crab Creek 1,408
Green River 2,883
Raven Rock 1,024
TOTAL = 17,358
The five districts add up to the total population of 89,173.
According to Ms. Beeker, this met the 10% rule.
Commissioner Ward presented as a finding of fact, based on the census of 89,173, the average number of persons per residential structure is 2.1048246. With the 10% rule, the ideal district would be 17,834, the highest would be 18,727 and the lowest would be 16,943. The estimated population as it stands today would be:
District I 13,203.6
District II 17,308.0
District III 23,458.3
District IV 18,143.6
District V 17,059.6 for a total of 89,173.1.
The County Manager agreed with these numbers which came from the Henderson County GIS department and were based on data from the Assessor=s office.
Chairman Moyer stated that it certainly would appear that there is a tremendous imbalance that needs to be corrected. The Board unanimously agreed that the imbalance needs to be corrected in the districts.
Commissioner Ward made the motion that with the uneven districts we currently have, a correction should be made. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Chairman Moyer opened the floor with respect to any of the other proposals.
Commissioner Hawkins stated that the District realignment that was proposed at an earlier workshop had been looked at by the Board of Elections and they had made some adjustments. He was speaking about his proposal and referred to the map on the right. He stated that the numbers are well within the 10% rule. NCGS 153A-22.1 calls for the test for compliance for this section as a reduction in the relative overall range of deviations. Commissioner Hawkins - AIf you look at the exact number between this second proposal and the first proposal, the proposal on the right is actually closer on maximum deviation by 23 than the proposal on the left, that is the lowest number and the highest number of deviation between them in the one case is 1257 and in the second case is 1234. Strictly on numbers, the map on the right is a better balance. I think the thing about the map on the left and Commissioner Moyer=s proposal - in District I - as I look at it and I don=t really agree that commonality is a thing to look at in a district. I think you look for diversity. District I is basically forming a municipal district of Hendersonville and Flat Rock and even if you look at the size, the area size of the map, you see it=s a very small district geographically and I would think that that district would certainly have it=s peculiar requirements and needs as they do now. Cities are different than the county and I don=t think that=s the best that we could do in redistricting so I would make a motion that we accept the sample resolution that you=ve been given as amended and adopt the map on the right.@
Angela Beeker - ACould you clarify the amendment, just state that for the record.@
Commissioner Hawkins - AThe amendment was that in item # 2 the amended districts shall be effective for the 2002 general election and that=s districts I, III, and IV.@
Chairman Moyer argued that the map on the left does present a better district and agreed that there is a slightly larger deviation. Chairman Moyer - AI think it=s more than offset by the commonality of the interests of the community and I think there is a beneficial - a lot of benefits to be gained by having a more municipal type district with respect to representation so I would argue that we vote down the motion and then I will put a motion on the table to approve the map on the left.@
More discussion followed with Commissioners Ward and Messer voicing no preference, stating that the maps are very similar. Commissioner Gordon stated that it would be a little easier for citizens to determine which district they live in from the map on the left. She expressed that the map on the left had more contiguous districts. Commissioner Gordon - AI guess the one on the right concerns me because some of the precincts are almost non-contiguous. They are so separated and I think that would be especially difficult for people to keep up with in trying to determine their district.@ Discussion continued, back and forth. Finally, Commissioner Hawkins called the question on his motion. A vote was taken which failed three to two with Commissioners Moyer , Gordon, and Messer voting nay. Commissioner Ward did not cast a vote. Since the Board did not excuse Commissioner Ward from voting, Ward=s abstention counted as a favorable vote.
Commissioner Hawkins - AI make the motion to adjourn.@
Chairman Moyer - ANo, I move - I=m sorry.@ Chairman Moyer made the motion to accept the sample resolution that was presented, with an amendment to number 2 stating that the amended districts will be effective for Districts I, III, and IV, and adopt the map on the left. The amended districts shall be effective for the 2002 general election and the affected districts are I, III, and IV.
A vote was taken and the motion carried four to one with Commissioner Hawkins voting nay. Again, Commissioner Ward did not cast a vote. Since the Board did not excuse Commissioner Ward from voting, Ward=s abstention counted as a favorable vote. A copy of the map which was approved is attached to the Resolution as Exhibit A, both the Resolution and the Exhibit A, pp 1-3, being incorporated by reference as if fully set forth herein.
Commissioner Hawkins made the motion to adjourn the meeting at 5:32 p.m. All voted in favor and the motion carried.
Elizabeth W. Corn, Clerk to the Board William L. Moyer, Chairman