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GtCounty General News

Posted on: January 7, 2022

Public input meetings scheduled for redistricting maps

Image of a computer with Georgetown County logo on screen

Following a workshop on Jan. 11, Georgetown County Council selected a draft redistricting map to move forward with as it works to adopt a redistricting plan. This map, known as Plan 1-843A, is still subject to change prior to adoption based on public comments. The map may be viewed on our Redistricting Page

The public will have three opportunities to review and comment on the map, as well as pose questions prior to adoption of a redistricting plan. Community meetings on redistricting are scheduled on the following dates.

  • Jan. 18, 6 p.m. at Choppee Regional Recreation Center
  • Jan. 19, 6 p.m. at Howard Auditorium
  • Jan. 24, 6 p.m. at Waccamaw Regional Recreation Center

An online public comment form is also available on the Redistricting Page.

Plan 1-843A is the third redistricting plan option presented to County Council. Two maps showing options for federally mandated redistricting were drafted by the State office of Revenue and Fiscal Affairs (RFA), and delivered to Council in mid-December. After reviewing the two maps and having individual meetings with County Administrator Angela Christian, it was clear Council had a definite favorite: the map labeled Plan 1-843. However, all of the council members had concerns about various aspects of that map. 

Those concerns and feedback from each council member were used to create a third map, 1-843A, which is still being finalized today. The completed draft will be unveiled to Council and the public during the workshop. 

“Based on the feedback we received from each Council Member, they were clear on the changes they wanted to see made,” Christian said. “The county incorporated their ideas into a third draft plan and sent it to the RFA to make sure it met all the legal requirements. We’re making some final tweaks and will have it ready in time for the workshop.” 

She is hopeful Council will be ready to adopt a plan in February. Districts on the federal, state and local levels must be redrawn every 10 years after new census numbers come in to reflect changes in the population and ensure fair and equal representation for all residents. 

The primary differences between the newest draft of the map and Plan 1-843 are as follows: 

  • Whereas Plan 1-843 consists of one “majority minority” and two “majority influential” districts, the newest map has only two “majority minority” districts (Districts 3 and 7). Whereas District 4’s population makeup is just over 50% black in Plan 1-843, the percentage is 22.89 in the alternative plan. However, the minority population for Districts 3 and 7 is considerably higher in the alternative plan than in Plan 1-843. The percentage of minority residents in the county as a whole decreased from 2010 to 2020, according to the census, making it a significant challenge to ensure minority representation.
  • Plan 1-843 moved the DeBordieu community from District 2 into District 4. Plan 1-843A keeps it in District 2, instead moving the Kensington community from District 2 to District 4. Council members said they wanted to see communities with like interests – such as coastal communities – remain grouped together.
  •  No incumbents were unseated by redistricting under Plan 1-843. In the alternative plan, two current school board members – Lynne Ford and Pat DeLeone – would no longer reside in the districts they represent. The district lines for County Council are also used by the Georgetown County School Board.
  • District 1 County Council Member John Thomas and District 6 Council Member Steve Goggans would no longer reside in the districts they represent under Plan 1-843A. Both announced previously that they did not plan to seek re-election when their terms expire at the end of this year.
  •  Litchfield Country Club is currently included in District 1, which primarily covers Murrells Inlet. Litchfield Country Club is shifted to District 6 under both Plan 1-843 and Plan 1-843A.
  • Districts 1 and 6 are shifted significantly in the alternative plan. Both areas gained a large number of new residents over the last decade. District 1 shrinks to include only the northernmost portion of the current area covered by the district. District 6 would also move north and take over a large portion of the area currently in District 1, from the current District 7 line all the way to the coastline.
  • The lower portion of the area currently in District 6 would move to District 2 and the district becomes smaller, again due to increased population density. 
  • Perhaps the biggest changes are to District 4, which would absorb Kensington and much of the easternmost portions of District 3 from Highway 17 toward Winyah Bay and southward to the county line. The City of Georgetown’s West End community would be shifted to District 3 and most of the current northwestern portion of District 4 would move to District 7, with District 5 picking up a smaller portion.
  • District 7 expands into the northern portion portion of what is currently District 4 while losing some area to District 5 in the northern portion west of Carvers Bay Road. 
  • District 5 expands into the central northern part of what is currently District 3.

The 2020 census saw the county’s total population increase by 5.4%. Just under 30% of the county’s population is minority. 

The first two maps created by the RFA are also available for public review on our Redistricting Page.

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