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Some odd shapes among new County Council Districts

Submitted by The Editors

Have you seen the new County Council District maps? If you have, you are probably shaking your head as to how some of the boundaries were formed. For example, the area below Broad Street on the Peninsula is joined with Sullivan's Island and the Isle of Palms. Hullo, we thought, this looks very much like "gerrymandering"! We made some enquiries and although it indeed looks like "gerrymandering", there were reasons for the strange boundaries.

Firstly, the boundaries were ultimately approved by the members of the County Council. The Staff of the Council had the responsibility of defining the boundaries and was assisted by The BCD Council of Governments. The drafters of the new areas had to take into account.

• The census blocks defined in the 2000 census. Boundaries could not be drawn through these blocks.

• Three districts had to be created which had a majority of minorities. As well, all districts had to be roughly the same size. This was necessary to comply with the court order to switch to single member districts to allow better representation of minorities.

• The boundaries were to be created so that no present members of Council would be running against another sitting member.

We are told that there were not quite enough people in the Mount Pleasant area to account for 2 districts. The tip of the Peninsula was the area closest to Mount Pleasant so it was included in District 2. Ed Fava is the councilman who will represent this District. Also odd shaped district is District 3, covering parts of North Charleston and Ladson. Tim Scott and Joey Douan are facing off in this district, with the winner facing Elliott Summey, the son of the North Charleston mayor in November. Elliott Summey is the only Democrat running for the district.

Personally, we are not too happy about the third factor above and would have preferred to see districts created with no reference to sitting members. We also understand there was a lot of discussion between council members and it took some while for an agreement to be reached on the final boundaries.

There are 9 districts in the County and 6 of them are being contested in the upcoming "single member" elections. The remaining seats will be contested 2 years hence.

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