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Commissioners shifted, district added in Washington County

After meeting twice last week, members of the Washington County Redistricting Committee are ready to recommend finalized maps to the county commission.
If approved, the biggest changes will be the addition of a 10th district, which will be represented by Commissioner Richard Matherly, and the swapping of Commissioners Evert Jarrett and Pat Wolfe, who currently serve the 8th and 9th districts respectively.
The two will switch due to adjustments in district boundaries.
“I think the district lines are more in order with the streets and easier to describe,” Election Commissioner Connie Sinks said during the Nov. 17 meeting.
Sinks said the boundaries on all districts had been bursting at the seams, but members of the Election Commission were able to work with the Zoning Administrator’s Office to provide relief.
Commissioner Richard Matherly moved to adopt the maps for recommendation to the full commission during its Nov. 28 meeting. The motion passed unanimously.
“Everybody lost some (voters) or gained some, but most understood the significance of the population increase and were positive about the process,” said Greg Matherly, chairman.
County Attorney John Rambo said copies of the maps will be sent to state legislators who are currently completing their own redistricting plan.
Redistricting Committee members will now turn their attention to the Washington County Board of Education.
Unlike the commission districts, which can vary in population and be represented by one to three commissioners, the law requires members of county boards of education to be residents of and elected from districts of substantially equal population.
“The current school board districts will pretty much stay intact, and we will use the same map for the constables,” Zoning Administrator Mike Rutherford said.
The Redistricting Committee meets again on Monday, Dec. 12, at 6 p.m.