Panel to review population changes, county voting districts

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By Jeff Moore

Carroll County Fiscal Court on Tuesday appointed a three-member board to review population changes in the county to determine if any changes are needed in its magisterial districts.

The three individuals selected are Don Ford of District 1, Margaret Riley of District 2 and Grover Crawford of District 3. They will be joined by Carroll County Clerk Alice Marsh, who will serve as an ex-offico member of the board, county judge-executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson said.

The group now has 60 days to review 2010 census data to determine if any changes are needed in the three districts. Tomlinson said he doesn’t believe they need to be altered.

Based on the data he has reviewed with the Northern Kentucky Area Development District, he said “very little change has happened.” He believes the magisterial districts have balanced population.

The 2010 Census shows the county’s population grew to 10,811. That’s up by 656 people, a 6.46 percent increase, over the past 10 years.

Tomlinson said NKADD’s Jeff Burke believes the final numbers can be confirmed for the reapportioinment board by Friday.

Fiscal court also set compensation for the board members at $250 per person once they complete their work.

Tomlinson said some counties pay up to $600 for the appointment, while others ask individuals to donate their time.

Even if the county doesn’t believe changes are needed in the districts, the reapportionment board must meet and review the data. Tomlinson previously explained that the county is required by law to conduct the review of election districts.

Once the process is complete, the panel will report its findings to fiscal court for any final action.

The county has moved carefully on the process this year, based on problems that occurred here in 2001. After the 2000 census, fiscal court appointed the commission, which was given the wrong numbers to work from. Back issues of The News-Democrat show fiscal court ended up with the task of redrawing the district boundaries, having to change what the commission recommended.

Magistrates have expressed concern in their meetings wanting to make sure this does not happen this year.

Tomlinson told magistrates that he will have the information this week and that he plans to attend the panel’s first meeting, once they determine when that will be. He said they are welcome to use the fiscal court meeting room.