Monday, January 19, 2009

School Single Member Districts

The school board has something interesting on the agenda for Tuesday's meeting. They want to change the boundaries for SMD 1 and 4. I can understand their concerns. That said, I really have to question their timing. They seem to think they can have all this done in time for the May election? Do they think they will have the DOJ approval back before February 7th?

You may be wondering: if the Election is on May 9th, and early voting starts on April 27th, where does Feb. 7th come in? That's the the first day you can file to run for office. Aren't the legal boundaries in effect on that date the ones you would have to use for that election?

This also seems premature when we have a census coming up next year with mandatory redistricting soon after the results are in. This whole exercise will have to be redone in about three years.

Add in all the work that will have to be done by the secretary of state's office and the local elections office to redo the voter registration records, get updated registration cards to the voters, and get the voters informed before April, and I see this as being a lot of extra work for very little real benefit to the voters and citizens of San Angelo.

The school board has valid concerns about the growth of the Bluffs and the Central vs Lake View mix in the districts. These are not new problems. They could have been addressed when the last redistricting was done. They will need to be readdressed during the next redistricting. Now, less than a month before the boundaries need to be in place for an election, is not the time to make these changes.

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