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Speak Out: Are Fulton's Commission Lines Fair?

Legislation has formed to add more county commission seats in North Fulton. Do you think that would improve the balance of power?

In an effort to give more representation to North Fulton, legislation has been drawn to change the Fulton Commission district lines, which would increase the number of district seats while eliminating an at-large position.

State Rep. Lynne Riley (R-Johns Creek) announced HB 171 earlier this year to reflect the changing population in the county. The bill would grant another district seat to North Fulton.

At the time, Riley said the county historically has added districts to reflect population increases. She said the map "is fair, complies with constitutional and federal mandates, respects precinct boundaries and communities of interests, and consists of compact districts.”

Still, the Fulton County Commission recently voted 5-2 on a resolution opposing the measure, expressing concerns on the effects the resolution would have on voting rights. In fact, the commission was scheduled to hold an "emergency meeting" with House Democrats Thursday morning concerning the legislation.

Liz Hausmann and Tom Lowe, who are North Fulton's representatives on the commission, voted against the county resolution opposing the bill.

"I am in favor of the proposed new commission districts as it brings additional representation to North Fulton that is long overdue, and complies with the important concept of one man one vote," said Hausmann, the District 3 Commissioner, in a Feb. 7 Patch article.

The bill is scheduled to go before the House Committee on Intragovernmental Coordination today.

Do you think the current district boundaries are fair, or should they be redrawn to give North Fulton another seat? Tell us in the comments!

Just Nasty and Mean February 21, 2013 at 07:11 PM
One Man—One Vote: The cornerstone of freedom and the representative republic of these United States. Equal representation. One man---One Vote. Do the math: Fulton Co. has a population of approx. 921,000. North Fulton County, due to growth and populace trends, the population approaches 400,000. One need only observe current district commission boundaries to determine ONLY ONE of the 7 district commission seats represents under half of the county’s population. District 3’s (Commissioner Hausmann) voting strength is diluted compared to ANY other District. Five of the seven commissioners live in Atlanta and South Fulton County. This gives South Fulton lop-sided and disproportionate clout on the Board of Commissioners that its population does not warrant. Results of this imbalance has resulted in what one would expect: Unresponsive/ vindictive) elected officials, atrocious roads, pathetic infrastructure, non-existent planning, zoning chaos, excessive taxation, redistribution of tax revenues, distant and absent county services, and on and on. A step in righting this wrong is finally under way. The newly proposed bill from the Fulton delegation would dissolve one of the county-wide elected districts and leave six commission districts. With six district seats and redrawn district boundaries, the power of Atlanta, South Fulton and North Fulton would---FINALLY—come into a balanced representation. It is simple: Equal Representation. One man—One Vote.
Dave Taft February 21, 2013 at 07:15 PM
I would prefer we just get Milton County back.
Emil Walcek February 22, 2013 at 02:14 PM
The maps don't compare representative populations served. Nevertheless, the new cut seems to reflect current county population shifts.
qbsystems February 22, 2013 at 02:26 PM
I heartily agree, but I also want out of this disfunctional county. Milton County is the real answer.
Thomas Reed February 22, 2013 at 03:43 PM
Totally agree with the need to balance populations, but why on earth does the final result need to look so obviously gerrymandered? Six districts with the shortest possible borders are fine, but this particular map doesn't cut it.
D. B. Wright February 25, 2013 at 12:11 PM
For far to long there has been an imbalance in voting power with North Fulton County being given the short end of the stick while paying the lions share of the counties expenses that are used elsewhere in the county. Short of the re-establishment of Milton County, WHICH SHOULD HAPPEN, then this would be the next best outcome to right a wrong!

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