Just in case any of our neighbors in Chatham County had any shreds of a doubt about whether Bunkey Morgan is the head of a power-hungry cabal with no concern for ethics or democracy, not to mention smart growth...
Late Monday night following a public hearing, the Chatham Commissioners voted 3-2 to redraw election districts. The change means Patrick Barnes shares a district with newly elected commissioner George Lucier and will not be allowed to run for re-election when his term expires in 2008. He instead will have to wait until 2010 to file to run office again.
The county now is divided into five districts. Commissioners must live in the district they represent, but all voters elect all commissioners.
At a meeting last month, commission Chairman Bunkey Morgan proposed redistricting and district representation, saying he was prompted by county Republicans to suggest the change.
During Monday night's public hearing, supporters and opponents argued their cases before the commissioners.
"Let me get right to the point," said Chatham resident Margie Ellison. "We do not trust you, your maps or your fake map drawing process. It appears the committee and the majority of commissioners aim to divide our votes and make the African-American vote invisible."
Many claim district voting will disenfranchise black voters. The county used district representation until 1975 and in that time did not elect a black representative, said commissioner-elect Carl Thompson. In the time since then, four black commissioners have been elected.
- heraldsun.com: Chatham board votes to redraw district lines, 8/22/06