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BOC talk redistricting with new census numbers

The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners sat down Monday for the first of two meetings on redrawing the district maps in Mt. Juliet.
The process comes after the 2020 census, and the new numbers which saw Mt. Juliet continue its rapid growth.
“These decisions are not going to come easy for me,” said District 3 Commissioner Scott Hefner in the regular board meeting after the work session.
Hefner’s district will probably see the most change. With the growth of District 4, which currently encompasses everything south of I-40, District 3 will have to move south over the interstate so that the population numbers stay balanced. City of Mt. Juliet GIS Administrator Rob Ealy said the goal is to get the populations as close to 9,822 as possible.
Ealy presented the commissioners with three different proposals of change. They all had slight differences, but all were similar in approach. District 1 which encompasses much of the north side will move south. District 2 which mostly is located in the west portion of the city will move east. District 3 which is mostly east and central will move south. And District 4 will just get smaller to account for the growth.
All of the districts are made up of census blocks. These blocks don’t account for things like neighborhoods, so sometimes individual neighborhoods will be split into two different districts. It’s a balancing act that requires you to help even out the populations across the city.
“If you have to pick up a block that adds 200, you have to make it somewhere else,” said Mayor James Maness on the process.
One of the proposals had one side of Devonshire Drive being in District 2, while the other side was in District 1. District 2 Commissioner Bill Trivett said he didn’t like that because it was confusing when one neighborhood is split.
The commissioners were to rank their districts and send them to Ealy and City Recorder Sheila Luckett. They will eliminate one proposal then vote on the final two at their second workshop, Monday, Oct. 18, 5:30 p.m.