The city of Clinton is one step closer to a redistricting plan for city council districts after the October meeting of City Council this past Monday night.
The city had advertised for public comment to get input from the community on the issue. A public hearing was held Monday at 6pm prior to the vote on “Plan One,” which had been devised through demographers with the South Carolina Budget and Control Board.
City Manager Frank Stovall opened that hearing by telling the Mayor and Council that the city had received no input from citizens in writing or via email.
One person, Mr. Loomis Byrd, was recognized to address council. Mr. Byrd told council that he opposed the plan presented to council because he believed that it diluted minority voting strength. He then presented an alternative plan which he said would give the city three minority elect-able districts instead of the two contained in the Budge and Control Board plan.
Mr. Byrd did tell council that the plan he proposed was the same plan that had been presented to council in 2004.
Representatives of the Budget and Control Board though pointed out that minority voting strength was actually increased with Plan One. It was also stated that a plan developed in 2004 was too old to be considered as being in compliance with the Voting Rights Act of 1965. They affirmed to council that they believed Plan One to be in full compliance with the Voting Rights Act and in compliance with the one person, one vote rule.
After discussion among members of council Mayor Randy Randall called for a vote and on first reading Plan One was approved by a majority vote.