Proposed LaGrange redistricting map receives only one comment

Published 10:00 am Thursday, April 28, 2022

During Tuesday’s meeting, the LaGrange City Council received only one comment concerning the new redistricting map it introduced earlier this month.

The redistricting map affects how and where residents of each district can vote in city elections. Residents affected by the updated map will be notified of their voter registration.

Due to the 2020 census being delayed due to pandemic-related issues, the city of LaGrange did not receive accurate population data for its two districts until later. The result of the census resulted in a 4,000-resident difference in the districts— 17,414 residents in District 1 and 13,444 in District 2.

The new proposed map would level out the populations of Districts 1 and 2 to 15,502 and 15,356, respectively, Mayor Jim Thornton noted. District 2 would be enlarged geographically, specifically in the Hillside area and the hospital area and would take in the mall and River Mill area.

City officials said during the council’s work session Tuesday that they had not received comments on the map via email or individually.

A public hearing was held at the council’s regular meeting to receive comments on the proposed map. The only one who spoke on the matter was Kevin Littlefield, chairman of the Troup County Democratic Party. Thornton and Councilmember Nathan Gaskin attended a meeting with the Troup County Democratic and Republic parties earlier this month to discuss the new map and its effects.

Littlefield described the redistricting map process as one that made ‘no one happy’ but one he felt was done effectively by city leaders.

“With Mr. McCamey passing away and the situation with the [November] election, no one was happy, but I think [city officials] have done the best job that could be done,” Littlefield said. “I think under the new circumstances, [the Democratic party is] good. Personally, I put out the information [and] sent it out to everybody on the democratic side of the house.”

No one from the Troup County Republic Party spoke for or against the map.

LaGrange is presently divided into two city council districts and each district elects three members of the city council: Councilmembers Jim Arrington and Tom Gore represent District 1 and councilmembers Mark Mitchell, Nathan Gaskin and W.T. Edmondson represent District 2.

The new map, once adopted, will be used for a special election this fall to fill the unexpired term of the late District 1 city councilmember LeGree McCamey as well as for future city council elections.

Following the public hearing, councilmembers voted on first reading to adopt the new map. The second and final reading will follow on May 10.   

In other business at the meeting:

  • The council voted to adjust UDO text amendments regarding industrial parking ratio requirements.  These amendments specifically alter the minimum parking requirements for industrial and agricultural developments. The recommendation is to reduce the requirements from its two-parking space requirement for every 1,000 square feet.
  • The council voted to name certain streets in Crossvine Village Subdivision.