MARIANNA, Fla. (WMBB) — Jackson County commissioners started throwing out ideas for a new district map at last week’s commission meeting.
Commissioner Clint Pate came prepared this week bringing a mock map.
“You try to make each district about the same number and we also have a court order about having one minority, so taking that into consideration plus trying to keep communities and towns together,” Commissioner Clint Pate said.
Right now Graceville is split into two districts.
Alex McKinnie covering district one and Pate covering district two.
Some Graceville residents said they would prefer to have one voice for representation.
“We need to focus on the culture of a community,” Dr. Terry Nichols said. “We need everything in the west part of this county, we need everything that we can get to be able to get a leg up, to be able to go forward, and now’s the time to do it.”
Pate’s draft map does put Graceville and its surrounding areas in one district.
But there is no school included in that proposed Graceville district, which is district one.
Jackson County School Board members and county commissioners both agree every district should have at least one school.
“But to give a school in district one it splits Graceville and I don’t know if anybody realized that until tonight when the school board brought it up,” Pate said.
Commissioners and school board members bounced around ideas but were unable to come up with a solution Tuesday night.
Regardless, they said this is a positive start.
“I think we ended on a very good note. There’s cooperation between the School Board and the County Commission and the NAACP and ACLU,” Board Chairman Jim Peacock said. “I think we’re all very close to being able to draw this map and I think everyone will be happy once we draw it.”
School board members will meet with county commissioners again next Tuesday.
The special meeting will begin at 2 p.m.