Sunday, June 8, 2008

"Voter Friendly" Precincts

Many of you may be receiving notification in the mail in the next few weeks informing you that your polling place has changed. This notification is in direct response to the County Board of Supervisors approving a measure to approve changes to the voting roadmap and precincts in Mataoca, Dale and Bermuda. Midlothian and Clover Hill appear to be unaffected by the measure.

The measure will adjust polling places for those in the Dutch Gap, Chippenham and Wells areas and relocate some polling stations in Enon, Beach, Matoaca, and Meadowbrook.

It is curious that such a measure would be approved so close to a Presidential election cycle and it would be interesting to learn if enough time is actually being provided residents accroding to the State law and provisions of the Board of Elections.

Fact is, we knew this was coming but admittedly not this soon. The next census data I think will become available in 2010 and most likely there will be alot of changes.

One big change should be the expansion of the Board itself. There is no way a Board member can adequetely represent some 80K residents which will most likely be the lower range of the number coming in the census. The Board should be expanded by two members to balance the County needs of true transparency of leadership.

If a compromise must be reached on the expansion, I opt for the creation of one new District, maybe Bon Air to divide up portions of Midlothian and Mataoca and redraw lines for example in large part to the fact that a greater portion of the residential growth has occurred in these areas and then the appointment of an at-large member or at-large electable seat from anywhere in the County.

8 comments:

Chesterfield Forum said...

I have worked on seven district plans after each of the last two census cycles. There was a way, there just was no will to change. It's all about power. The added cost of two more supervisors is minimal. You are correct in that Midlothian District and Matoaca will see the greatest changes. My two new districts would be Bon Air and Skin Quarter, to reflect the geographic areas they will serve.All other districts will consolidate in size. There is no reason to have stretched out districts as Midlothian and Matoaka are presently

Anonymous said...

I firmly agree with Chesterfield Forum. I think this will be a driving issue in 2011 leading into 2012 for the Board of Supervisor race after the census.

The other aspect of this issue of "representation" needs to go to the issue of full-time status as well. It is my understanding that our Board are not "full-time". This issue arose in the Sowder/Gecker town hall at Midlothian High in 2007. If the Board is going to seek to meddle with School Board affairs because it sees itself as holding the revenue funding on top of managing growth and covering all the other aspects of the County there is no way the job can be done to the satisfaction of residents by those working part-time.

The cost is minimal and in fact the funding for two new Districts as well as an salary boost for full time Supervisors could come from spending cuts in the overall budget across other departments.

It is my understanding that the size of our local government is not in proportion as others areas with like budgets. Many other areas have less population but more Supervisors our more poulation but make do with a leaner government.

We need to look at ways to make sure our government is more efficient both at the staff levels and in the school system. Every job should be justified. By being more efficient we can reduce turnover and defections to other areas by many employees, especially in law enforcement. The leaner the government can become and the more efficient the greater liklihood of rising (justified) wages and benefits can become.

There is too many people in local government that see things "departmental" and not big picture and that is a direct commentary on leadership in our government itself.

Anonymous said...

What is the hurry to get this done before November I wonder. Will not the census of 2010 change everything anyway. Will not we be redrawing lines again after the General Assembly which by then will be controlled 100% by Democrats determines to redraw all the lines in their favor. can you say payback.

Chesterfield Forum said...

Anonymous June 11, please read carefully. The discussion is about changing precinct boundary's now to eliminate crowding during voting in November. As an aside it will make redistricting easier AFTER the 2010 census, since you may be able to move voting precincts around when we create seven magisterial districts. The greatest problem during redistricting after a census is trying not to split precincts since all of this has to also fit into the congressional redistricting that will be done at the same time. For once Chesterfield is being a little proactive.

Alter of Freedom said...

The key Chesterfield Forum will be the method used to determine the lines being drawn after the census, even if the Board choses not to expand the number of seats. The method used should employ the same being used in addressing school boundary changes in my view so that the integrity of the process is given.
An independent commission could be established, however these are usually political appointees in these instances and I am not too keen on that at this point.
The General Assembly also will face this issue for House and Senate seats. That will surely be highly political and if you read the liberal blogs you will find that they are already salivating over the prospects of redrawing the lines in Northern Virginia to basically be dominated by Democrats.
I agree with the Bon Air and Skinquarter proposition. Bon Air tends to being fully built out but could be expanded to take portions of Midlothian along the Robious Corridor (Rt. 711) alll the way to the City Line on Huguenot and then to Midlothian Tnpk from Robious to the Chippenham Place (old Cloverleaf) as boundaries and then Midlothian would take everything west along Midlothian Tnpk to include auxillary roads and the new areas of Roseland, Magnolia Green, Charter Colony, Stonehenge , Smoketree (along Courthouse and Lucks Lane with 288 being boundary up to where current Matoaca and Clover Hill begin. This area will experience more growth in the future as well with zoning cases as well as current units. Skinquarter would take all the growth out west to come beyond Cosby High but laso take parts of Matoaca I think.

JS

Lucks Lane said...

I served on the Tomahawk redistricting committee. It was a disaster from the start. There was no intergrity to the process at all.

I do think alterof freedom areas look really good.

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