Full commission to vote on redistricting, downsizing of commission

Published 6:26 pm Wednesday, November 3, 2021

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com
The Carter County Rules and Bylaws Committee voted 7-1 to move forward a plan for redistricting and reducing the number of members on the commission.

The plan goes to the full commission for consideration at a special called meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 9.

The proposal comes after five workshops to review the districts and consider options for changing the commission structure. Chairman Randall Jenkins, who led the workshops, said the target population for each district is 7,045 residents.

“We are right at 2.5 percent deviation,” he said. “The highest population is 74 people over our standard mean and the lowest number is 134 … we were out of deviation when the last Census ended.”

The state requires counties to review districts every 10 years after a U.S. Census is conducted.

Another key part of the resolution is the reduction in the size of the commission from 24 members to 16, two commissioners for each of the eight districts.

First District Commissioner Mark Blevins cast the lone dissenting vote saying he supports the redistricting map but not the reduction of commission membership. “It’s going to put too much workload on the other commissioners,” Blevins said. “We will be here at least three or four days a week if we do that.”

Jenkins said this proposal includes plans to adjust committee membership and meeting schedules.

In other action from Rules and Bylaws, the committee voted 8-0 to accept a Constable Resolution that will keep two constables in each of the eight districts.

Also, the committee accepted a wording change to the full-time county employee sick leave policy which will allow the employees to obtain one day of sick leave at the end of each month worked that can be used immediately upon being earned.