.
News Alert
Wes Cantrell Leads State House Race

Commissioners Delay Vote on New District Map

Commissioners Patrick Bell, Todd Levent and Jim Boff want to wait for the public's input during a town hall meeting set for Monday at 6:30 p.m. before voting on the new county map. Chairman Brian Tam and Commissioner Pete Amos opposed any delay.

Forsyth County Commissioners voted 3-2 last night to wait until after a town hall meeting co-sponsored by the county's to approve the county's new district map.

That meeting is set for Monday, Aug. 8 at 6:30 p.m. in the .

Chairman Brian Tam opposed the delay as did, Dist. 1 Commissioner Pete Amos, but District 4 Commissioner Patrick Bell pushed for a postponement until the commissioner's work session on August 12. Commissioners Todd Levent and Jim Boff joined Bell in wanting to hear what the public has to say prior to making a decision.

"I want to hear from the three-party meeting Monday night," Bell said. "I have to commend the three parties that typically are totally at odds for coming together to try and offer us solutions. For us to disregard that is absurd."

Democratic Party Chairwoman Sharon Gunter, who helped organize the the town hall meeting, e-mailed the commissioners prior to last night's meeting saying citizens had a right to weigh in on such an important issue.

In her e-mail, Gunter said commissioners who aren't willing to wait until after the meeting would, "display total disregard for public opinion, total lack of respect for your oath to represent the citizens of this County, a total display that you feel you are the ultimate and single voice of this county."

Several speakers took turns pleading with the county to postpone their vote until after Monday.

Richard Ward, Vice Chairman of the Forsyth County Republican Party said, "It will be 10 years before these maps can be changed, therefore it is unthinkable you would rush to judgment on such an important issue. Each of you that vote to to approve these maps before the meeting on Monday will be sending a message of how little respect you have for the people who elected you."

Former county commissioner Jim Harrell echoed that sentiment. "To rush this through tonight would be a giant slap in the face of the citizens of this county."

Monday's meeting is expected to fill the commissioners meeting room. The county's Tea Party represents more than 400 people. All members of the county's state delegation have indicated they will attend as has Cumming's mayor, city council and county school board members.

Once the board approves the map, it will be sent to the state's legislative reapportionment office where it may be approved or modified. It then goes to the county's state delegation who will introduce it at the General Assembly for formal approval.

Once that is done, it must be approved by the U.S. Department of Justice as part of the revised Voting Rights Act to make sure the lines don't weaken the strength of minority votes.

SOGTP August 05, 2011 at 03:03 PM
Why did Brian Tamm and Amos oppose the delay?
Bill August 06, 2011 at 06:57 PM
Chairman Tam gave no reason why he was unwilling to wait. I agree with Comm. Bell that the members of the Tea Party, Democratic Party and Republican Party are to be commended and that their voices should be heard before the all-important vote. Tam did say Monday's meeting was originally set for Aug. 3 but that didn't explain why he couldn't wait until next week to vote.

Boards

More »
Got a question? Something on your mind? Talk to your community, directly.
Note Article
Just a short thought to get the word out quickly about anything in your neighborhood.
Share something with your neighbors.What's on your mind?What's on your mind?Make an announcement, speak your mind, or sell somethingPost something
See more »