Commissioner to host Community Meeting at Hampton Elementary

Published 5:35 pm Thursday, March 16, 2017

Residents of Carter County’s 6th District will soon have a chance to have their concerns heard at a special Community Meeting.
Carter County Commissioner Randal Jenkins is hosting a Community Meeting on Thursday, March 30, at Hampton Elementary School beginning at 6 p.m. The meeting will take place in the school’s cafeteria, and those attending are asked to use the back entrance to the school at the gym.
“I told everybody when I ran I would hold some community meetings,” Jenkins said. “I think it’s something we need to do.
Jenkins said he notified his fellow 6th District representatives — Commissioner John Lewis and Commissioner Larry “Doc” Miller — that he was hosting the meeting and invited them to take part. The 6th District includes the Hampton, Valley Forge, Little Milligan, and Elk Mills precincts.
To open the meeting, Jenkins said he wants to provide his constituents with an update on what is going on in the county. One of the items he plans to speak about is a project that is underway to create a public river access point to the Doe River across from Hampton High School.
“I’m going to let Ken Gough with Parks and Rec introduce himself and discuss what is going on with the property,” Jenkins said.
While the river access project may seem like a small thing, Jenkins said he feels it has the potential to have a significant impact in the Hampton community. “I’m so excited about it,” he said.
Another of the topics which Jenkins plans to address at the meeting is one he feels may prove controversial to some.
“I will probably bring up downsizing the Commission,” Jenkins said, adding he has been researching the idea on his own. “That’s something I really feel like we need to do. I think it will be better for the community.”
While Jenkins feels a downsized Commission would better serve the citizens of the county, not everyone shares his opinion, he said.
“I’ve gotten some pushback from some commissioners who don’t think we should do it,” Jenkins said. “But that’s not what I’m hearing from the public, and they are the ones who put me in there, not the other commissioners.”
Currently, the Commission is comprised of 24 members — with each of the County’s eight districts having three representatives.
“My goal on it is to maybe just shave one off of each district,” Jenkins said.
In order to ensure residents have equal representation, Jenkins said he didn’t feel the Commission could be downsized further at this time without looking at the size of the County’s districts and possibly adding new districts because of population size. Because the country is in between census cycles, any redistrict would have to wait until the results of the 2020 census are compiled, he said.
However, Jenkins hopes to immediately begin to work on lowering the Commission from 24 members to 16. If the proposal can get approved before the next election cycle starts, Jenkins said the change could be implemented during the 2018 election by allowing residents to vote for two representatives per district rather than three.
In addition to the updates Jenkins plans to provide his constituents, he also intends to open the floor to community members who want to ask questions.
“I’m sure the animal shelter will come up as well as the budget,” Jenkins said. “I want to address any concerns the citizens might have.”

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