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Rusk County commissioners vote 4-1 to approve redistricting map

By Angela Ward
July 20, 2011 at 10 p.m.

HENDERSON - The Rusk County Commissioners Court approved redistricting its precincts Wednesday, based on results from the 2010 census.

The motion passed, 4-1, with Pct. 4 Commissioner Harold Howell opposed.

"I think there are too many discrepancies in this plan, and I'm not pleased with it," he said.

Howell declined to elaborate on his concerns or to say whether the perceived discrepancies had to do with precinct populations or the amount of road miles for which each commissioner would be responsible.

Under the redistricting, Howell is gaining territory from precincts 1 and 3.

The main changes made under the plan have to do with the boundary lines between precincts 3 and 4 in the southern half of the county.

The redistricting also puts most of the city of Henderson in Precinct 3.

Precinct 3 Commissioner Freddy Swann said he was comfortable with the new boundaries.

"It's not exactly the way I would have done it myself, but I can live with it," Swann said.

The redistricting gives Swann fewer miles of road to maintain, although he still has more than any other commissioner.

The map must be approved by the Department of Justice, said Elections Administrator Kathie Wittner.

County Judge Joel Hale said the map was fair to all county residents and complimented Wittner on a job well done.

In other business, the court approved a request from Justice of the Peace Joe Sorrells to accept credit card payment of tickets through Paymetech/NetData Services.

"I'm trying to bring my office into the 21st century and I believe this will save taxpayers money by cutting down on our labor expenses," Sorrells said.



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