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Hall officials map out new commission districts
Changes in population dictate new lines
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The move to find new district lines for the Hall County Board of Commissioners will begin this week, and officials hope to submit the new maps to the General Assembly before a special legislative session ends later this month.

Figuring out how to complete the task and allow public input on the process might be tricky for county officials, who have less than a week left to do so. A special legislative session for redrawing the state's political boundaries is expected to begin Monday.

Data from the 2010 census shows the population in commission District 1 in South Hall has grown beyond its population boundaries and commission District 4, which includes Gainesville, doesn't have enough people.

Ideally, each district would have 44,921 people, according to Interim Elections Director Charlotte Sosebee.

But legally, the districts can have between 36,956 to 55,285 people to be considered equal.

"We're going to have to shift commission District 1 into commission District 4, but in order to get the balance and maybe looking at racial backgrounds as far as minority/majority, we may have to take from all different districts to get our balance," Sosebee said.

There are three possible plans for redrawing the district lines to reflect changes in the county's population, Sosebee said.

Sosebee originally directed commissioners to hold off on the maps until the General Assembly completes the special session.

But commissioners said they want to submit the maps to legislators before the session ends.

"We need to get it to them while they're in session with time for them to act on it," said Commissioner Craig Lutz.

Chairman Tom Oliver wants commissioners to begin meeting with Sosebee on the maps next week.

Commissioner Ashley Bell said members of his district want to be part of the discussions before making a decision.

"Before we begin to wrestle with these defined lines, I would like to do so at least in the midst of a public discussion," Bell said.

Bell asked Sosebee to bring the maps to a community meeting at Fair Street Neighborhood scheduled for Saturday.