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Gainesville school board will meet with council on voting maps
Group wants to better reflect its constituents interests
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Gainesville City Schools Board of Education called meeting
When: 8 a.m. Tuesday
Where: Gainesville Parks and Recreation Board Room
Gainesville Civic Center, 830 Green St., Gainesville
Contact: 770-531-2680

The Gainesville City Schools Board of Education is one step closer to finding a solution to redistricting.

The school board will meet with members of the Gainesville City Council Tuesday morning to discuss changes to ward maps.

The proposed City Council map had Ward 1 from Thompson Bridge Road to McEver Road and Dawsonville Highway. Ward 2 covers portions of Thompson Bridge and Cornelia and Cleveland Highways. Wards 3 and 4 are split by Interstate 985 and Ward 5 includes areas on Browns Bridge Road, Atlanta Highway and the other side of McEver.

On Aug. 4, board members began creating a map that, in their opinion, would better reflect their constituents’ interests. Ward 4 had a population boom while Wards 1 and 2 had decreased populations between 2000 and 2010. Ward 5 was almost perfect and the concern with Ward 3 was the minority population.

After the meeting, school board members proposed a second map to the City Council that did not change the ward lines as drastically and still maintained the incumbents’ seats. Board member Sammy Smith reiterated at the Aug. 4 meeting that it was possible for the city to have two ward maps, as council members are elected citywide but board members are elected only in their districts.

Superintendent Merrianne Dyer said the board will also discuss the adoption of the millage rate.

In June, the school board approved its fiscal year 2011 budget, which included a proposed millage rate 0.3 mills lower than that in 2010. The 0.3 mill reduction would come from general obligation bond payments, which were paid off in January.

One mill equals $1 for each $1,000 in assessed property value. If the millage rate were to drop 0.3 mills, city taxpayers would save about $30 on a $100,000 house as taxes are assessed at 100 percent in the city.