Lockhart eyes early redistricting plans, maps
By LPR Staff
During a special-called meeting on Tuesday evening, the Lockhart City Council got their first look at two proposed redistricting maps based on changes required by the 2010 Census.
In keeping with Federal law, the city is required to redraw some district lines, in order to equalize both the total population and the mi
nority population within the city limits. The firm of Bickerstaff, Heath, Delgado and Acosta calculated two plans for the council to consider – one which will only require minimal changes to the districting lines, and a second including more sweeping changes.
Districts One, Two and Four are likely to be the most impacted by whichever changes the council approves in June. The extent of those changes, however, is yet to be determined.
Under is being labeled “Plan A,” the only two changes to the districting lines are the moving of an area at the west end of Clearfork Street from District Four to District Three, and a shift of the area bordered by Trinity, Rosewood, San Saba and East Live Oak Streets from District One to District Two.
The council’s chief objection to Plan A is that “island” of property in District Two being surrounded on three sides by District One.
“Plan B” requires more extensive changes, including assigning the Summerside neighborhood into District Four, and extending District One’s boundary across Highway 183 to encompass the blocks north of Pecos Street and east of Main Street. It would also shift the area east of Steuve Lane and west of North Medina out of District Three and into District Two.
Concerns about “Plan B” include the possibility of dramatically reducing District One’s voter turnout by removing the Summerside neighborhood from that district, and shifting the boundary line for District One away from the traditionally-observed Highway 183 dividing line.
Each of the councilmembers, at different points in the conversation, said their primary concern is making sure that voters are inconvenienced as little as possible in changes in their voting locations and changes in their districts. However, some changes will be required to make sure that the population totals are within Federal law and receive Department of Justice approval in ample time for the filing period for the November 2011 elections.
The two maps will be the subject of a public hearing scheduled on June 2, 2011, at 7 p.m. Although the council will be present for that meeting, they have been advised that they should not, at that time, discuss possible changes to the maps. Instead, the public will be invited to give their input on the current drawings, and hear explanations as to whether or not the drawings can or should be changed, and why.
The council is expected to complete the redistricting plan this summer.