First, state senatorial and House legislators were bitten and reapportioned their districts. Thereafter, U.S. Congressmen maligned their districts, changing the old Seventh to an extended Eleventh, including Polk and southern Muscogee County.
Now, the bug has pricked the interests of the Polk County Commission, who announced in August plans to reapportion the three district lines more equal to each district’s population.
And most recently, the School Board of Education has become contagious, having been reviewing documentation about their nine districts over the last few weeks.
Polk Supt. Dr. Billy Pack said the board has begun looking at redistricting, ever since the state started the process with the legislature, and more so, since the county commission announced their intentions.
“We’re working with the State Reapportionment Office who will be drawing up potential maps for us based on recent population changes,” Pack said.
“It’s all based on the latest census.”
Pack stated the changes in population in the districts were according to the 2000 Census.
Once the school system receives the proposed district changes, Pack said the board will have the option of accepting them as presented or sending the plans back to the reapportionment office with requested changes.
After that, hearings would be held for the public to make suggestions, and then the board would adopt the plans, binding no objections, and ask the state legislature to set into law.
Pack hopes to have the maps to board members by November and finish the process (have the district lines in place) by the end of December.
According to Pack, redistricting the political lines of the school system would not affect the boundary lines that determine what school a child attends.
“The only changes will be that persons currently living in one representation district may find themselves represented by another member of the board of education,” he said, “because their district representation lines have changed.”
County commissioners have been presented at least two maps to review since August. Both plans were dismissed.
The ball on how those districts will be reapportioned has been rolled into the courts of Ray Barber and Frank Lott, who each represent District 2.
Both commissioners agreed in September to meet with state officials and divvy up their districts, as they see fit.
Commissioner Billy Croker urged the commissioners to consider reapportioning the districts equally based on population.
The commission did not made any additional announcements about reapportionment at the October meeting.
Lott has stated that he feels that the county could change the map but did not have to, because the district lines were legal as they are.
County Attorney Brad McFall told the board that the Association County Commissioners of Georgia, or ACCG, has a mixed opinion with that.
At present, District 2 only has about 7,000 residents of Polk County’s total population of 38,127.
District 2 is considerably smaller than the two other districts. District 1 which includes Cedartown has 19,165 residents and District 3 has a contingency of 11,992.