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Supes delay action on redistricting

March 22, 2011

By PAUL SIMS
sdnnews@bellsouth.net

Facing their own challenges with redistricting, the Oktibbeha County Board of Supervisors delayed action Monday on a proposed resolution to oppose a lesgilative plan to split the county six ways in the state House.
County Administrator Don Posey presented the matter to the board Monday, saying several people had contacted him about the issue.
“Don’t you think it would be a little bit improper to get involved in that, seeing that we’ve got our own business we need to discuss?,” District 2 Supervisor Orlando Trainer asked.
Minutes before, supervisors wrapped up an approximately two-hour public hearing where officials unveiled an initial, proposed map to adjust supervisor district boundaries to address population changes over the last decade.
A number of residents expressed concerns about the supervisor district plan and more public input is scheduled.
District 4 Supervisor Daniel Jackson offered a motion to support the resolution.
“I think they’re doing Oktibbeha County an injustice breaking it up into six districts, four inside the city limits of Starkville,” Jackson said.
District 3 Supervisor and Board President Marvell Howard said he agreed with Jackson but noted “we’re struggling with trying to get our people satisfied on our lines.”
Jackson answered quickly: “These are our lines. It’s just a resolution.”
Supervisors decided by consent to table action on the matter.
On March 15, the Starkville Board of Aldermen adopted a resolution to oppose the redistricting plan on a number of fronts, including that it would stretch districts covering Starkville across a total 200 miles and that the community grew 9.2 percent to 23,688, approximately the same size as an average state district.
In other matters, the board:
• Decided to support the naming of the stretch of U.S. Highway 82 running through Oktibbeha County the Jack Cristil Highway. This matches Starkville’s March 15 resolution to do the same inside city limits. Cristil recently retired from nearly six decades of service as the voice of Mississippi State University athletics.
• Voted to transfer $167,391.97 as part of the construction on the county education building on Main Street.
• Agreed to a letter of engagement with the Mississippi Department of Audit to conduct an audit on the county’s books.
• Reappointed Walter Williams to the Oktibbeha County Hospital Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees for a five-year term.
• Heard Herbert Turner ask county officials to investigate the March 9 incident in which a county school bus got stuck in rising flood water along Curtis Chapel Road. No one was injured but emergency personnel and others helped get East Oktibbeha County High School students off the bus and to dry ground.

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