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Growth flip flops school board districts

Growth in Washington County during the last 10 years has resulted in the smallest school board district now being the largest.
Election Commissioner Connie Sinks and GIS Specialist Chris Pape, of the Zoning Administrator’s Office, led a Dec. 8 workshop on the proposed redistricting plan covering both the county’s board of education and constables.
“It’s really a shell game of trying to move the numbers, and we had a lot of growth in the third district,” Pape said.
“The major shift is the Stratton and Princeton Arts Center precincts have been moved to the second district,” he explained, adding that no school board member or constable changed districts in the draft plan.
The adjustments increase the population in the first district, originally the smallest, to 40,347 residents, followed by the third district at 39,321 and the second district at 37,612.
“We tried to follow the existing county commission lines from the plan approved by the commissioners,” Pape said.
While the Election Commission may have additional precinct changes based on the new commission district lines, Sinks said these will be made to the advantage of the voters.
“We’d like to be able to provide areas where people don’t have to wait outside (for example),” she said.
According to Pape, Washington County grew approximately 15 percent during the last decade and is leading Carter and Sullivan counties in building permit issuance.