PILOT LIGHT: County Faces Redistricting
Redistricting looms as the Moore County Board of Commissioners awaits the results of the 2010 population census.
Elections Director Glenda Clendenin recently told the board that it will be 2011 before the new district figures are available, but the process will be speedy once census figures are in hand.
Maps and registration figures show wide disparities in geography and population.
Nick Picerno, the commissioner elected from District 2, serves the area with the largest number of registered voters, 19,882, as of Dec. 9. District 2 encompasses Pinehurst and Seven Lakes.
Cindy Morgan, the commissioner from District 3, has the smallest number of registrants, 6,898, but the largest square mileage. Her district wraps around almost three sides of the county and covers the northern part of the county and part of the western edge.
The other three districts are closer to being equal in terms of registration numbers, although District 1, represented by Larry Caddell, has a much larger territory than District 4 (Chairman Tim Lea) or District 5 (Jimmy Melton).
AT LARGE -- Clendenin reminded the board that the figures presented are the number of registered votes, not the total population. Nevertheless, the number of registrants reflects population size.
The fact that Moore County districts are residency districts eases some of the redistricting problems. A residency district is one in which the candidate must reside within the geographical limits but are elected countywide by all voters. That means candidates must campaign throughout the county, not just in their districts.
"As long as the vote stays at-large, problems are few in aligning districts," Clendenin said.
But she warned that equity can be an issue in redistricting.
"If we do not equalize, we may be subject to a lawsuit," she told the board.
However, the last such suit a number of years ago was dropped because there was no evidence of race inequity in the five districts.
COMPLETE COUNT -- And speaking of the census, the U.S. Census Bureau will kick off its "Portrait of America" tour Monday in Charlotte's Center City at Trade and Tryon streets
The formal program, beginning at noon at Disc Plaza, will feature local performers and remarks by officials and dignitaries, according to a report from the bureau's Charlotte regional office.
Tony Jones, director of regional media relations, says the program will culminate with the christening of the 2010 Census Road Tour vehicle, dubbed "Founders." The vehicle is named for America's Founding Fathers, who saw the census as a basic tool of democracy and mandated a national headcount at 10-year intervals. This is a constitutional requirement.
The census road tour will make neighborhood stops and set up public events Tuesday in Durham and Raleigh, Wednesday in Fayetteville and Jan. 23 in Franklin. Similar stops are scheduled in February, March and April. Stops in Moore County are not on the schedule.
HOLIDAY -- New Year's Day will mean a holiday for most government offices and institutions.
Federal, state, county and municipal offices are closed today (Friday) for New Year's Day, as are post offices and banks.
The Moore County public schools are already closed for the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Classes will resume Monday.
The Senior Enrichment Center and the Moore County Library System, including all five branches and the bookmobile, are closed today.
The Pilot newspaper office is also closed for the observance.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at (910) 783-5841 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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