Thursday , 21 September 2017
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The Right View: Redistricting Information and Misinformation

At Monday night’s public forum regarding redistricting, I spoke out for the need for clarity with the redistricting process and make the information easily accessible for the public. I believe, when information is readily available, the level of confidence in our elected officials is enhanced.

Instead, we had former councilmember Pete Huff defending council proclaiming, “all the information is there”, although you may need “to look around a bit”. He noted that he watched the video of the council discussion and he did not believe there was any problem with the process.

With all due respect, Mr. Huff, your comments are inaccurate.

As of 10:32am on August 9, the city website does NOT contain the following essential information that citizens need to make an intelligent informed decision:

  • A map of “Illustrative Plan 1” – unless you count the glimpse of it on the video
  • Demographics for “Illustrative Plan 1”
  • Any Information about the citizen proposed map
  • Anything about Map “G” that was created by council 
  • Details and schedule about the exact process that council will use
  • Schedule of future public meetings regarding redistricting

There is no chance that anyone could possible make an informed decision about redistricting based solely, upon information that is available from the city website.  Anyone who has a copy of “Citizen Proposal Rath/Tutson” obtained the map from me, via email or through TownSquareBuzz.com, NOT the city.

Although, it is absolutely correct that anyone can talk to their rep or watch the video or submit an ORR, why not make it easier to get? 

Several citizens spoke out about the impact on their neighborhood, schools and busing, including several resident of the Village Creek neighborhood south of El Dorado Parkway.

Allow me to alleviate these concerns. This redistricting has absolutely NOTHING to do with McKinney Independent School District nor school attendance zone nor busing; the MISD Board of Trustees makes those decisions.  In 2000, MISD Trustees, under the leadership of District 2 councilmember Geralyn Kever, drew up a map that separates Village Creek neighborhood from the rest of El Dorado. If dividing these areas was OK in 2000, why is now such a huge problem?

On the subject of MISD, it is interesting that their board has chosen to get citizens involved directly in the process.  Each MISD board member nominated people to serve on group that is working with the consultant to draw up plans that fit legal guidelines.  These proposal(s) are then evaluated by the board and submitted for approval.

Citizen input.  What a concept!

Curtis Rath is a contributor to Town Square Buzz.

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