This is the new district map approved by the BOC Tuesday night. District 1 is in blue, District 2 is in pink, with District 3 in yellow, District 4 in green and District 5 in purple.
COVINGTON -- County commissioners approved a redistricting map Tuesday night.
The map was slightly modified from a proposal previously under consideration, with Double Gate subdivision removed from District 4, per Commissioner J.C. Henderson's request. A small area north of Sockwell Road was added back to District 4 as well. Glen Echo subdivision and a few smaller roads will move from District 1 to District 2. Also, Park Place subdivision, a portion of Veale Road south of Richards Chapel Road and a few smaller roads will transfer fron District 2 to District 1.
Officials met for a third time at the Reapportionment Services Office in Atlanta on Monday and reached a consensus on the map. Henderson had been the lone hold out of 10 elected officials from the BOC and Board of Education on the previous proposal.
With District 4 set to gain about 7,000 people and District 3 in need of losing that many, officials handled the redistricting process by removing the excess population from District 3 and placing it in District 4 so as to affect other districts as little as possible. But Henderson was opposed to the entire population draw coming from the west, and specifically cited Double Gate as an area he did not want included in the district.
Henderson created his own map with the help of the county GIS department, which was used, along with Proposal 6, the version that the majority of elected officials had agreed upon, as a base point for the creation of the map approved Tuesday.
Henderson said after the meeting that his objections were based on input from his constituents, but that he was satisfied with the new map.
"I do believe we didn't all get what we wanted but we were able to make a compromise on some of this stuff to make it more accommodating for all of us," he said.
Based on the 2010 Census count, Newton's population is 99,958, meaning the ideal population per district is 19,991. All districts in the county fall within 1 percent of that ideal, except District 3, which goes slightly over at 1.09 percent. District 3 and District 4 are maintained as minority-majority districts under the new maps.
County Attorney Craig said a unanimous consensus on a redistricting map is preferred in order to avoid denial by the Department of Justice. In addition, the local legislative delegation to the Georgia General Assembly has said it will require a unanimous consensus before presenting the maps to the state body, a necessary step before it is sent to the Department of Justice.
Officials must approve a map by Jan. 3 in order to get approval from the state and federal governments in time for qualifying for the 2012 General Primary. The Board of Education will hold a called meeting at 9 a.m. Jan. 2 to vote on the map.