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Commission Votes to Maintain Current Districting Method

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

The Bradley County Commission met last night after a long Labor Day weekend to make some decisions regarding the the redistricting of the County Districts. Discussion has been going on for several weeks as whether to keep the districts as they are currently - 7 districts with 2 representatives per district, totaling 14 - or to increase the number of districts to 9. However, this option would decrease the number of representatives to 9, leaving only one per district.

Commissioner Mel Griffith made a motion to request the Redistricting Committee to maintain the current seven districts with two commissioners per district elected by the residents. Commissioner Jeff Yarber disagreed and believed the decision should be solely that of the committee.

Commissioner Terry Caywood said he has received phone calls from those in his district stating that the extra representation was appreciated. Substitute motions were made to try to trample out Griffith's motion, but in the end, the majority of the commission also believed the more representation, the better. The vote passed 10-4 and the Redistricting Committee will hold their first meeting on Monday.

Also on the agenda was a resolution to support the Spring Branch Industrial Park. The "park" would be located near I-75 on Spring Branch Road. The reason behind the choosing of this site is because once the APD 40 interchange system is complete, this site would be interstate accessible.

Several members of the community came to speak out against proposed funding of such a park, citing concerns over traffic, safety and the impact on the environment and surrounding creeks. It seems some are willing to compromise if the county would work with them. Others are adamant against it.

One resident, Bob Watkins, who owns property near the proposed site said he is in agreement with the commission and wouldn't mind seeing the Industrial Park move in and create jobs.

Due to the many residents wishing to speak their concerns, Commissioner Jeff Yarber offered a substitute motion to defer the discussion to the next work session. Anyone wishing to make their voice heard on the matter was asked to come back on Monday.

In addition to regular business, Mayor D. Gary Davis introduced the newest member of the Bradley County Team.  Attorney Crystal R. Freiberg has been announced as the new Bradley County Attorney, as well as, new Delinquent Tax Attorney.

Freiberg comes in to replace former County Joe Byrd. Byrd announced his resignation on August 2nd during a regularly held commission meeting, saying he had accepted a position to become a Preacher down in Florida.

The Bradley County Commission will meet again on Monday, September 12th for their work session at noon.