Magistrates reject reapportionment offer

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By Ben Carlson

The fiscal court will go old school this year when it comes to reapportioning magisterial districts following the 2010 census.
The Bluegrass Area Development District pitched an idea to use a computer program to ensure that each district has the same population within 10 percent — at a cost of $3,000.
The proposal was tabled earlier in the month and defeated last Tuesday morning.
Instead, the fiscal court approved the method it has always used and will appoint a committee of three people to examine population shifts and redraw the lines accordingly.
The committee would have been formed either way, with each member earning $100 a day.
County Clerk Jason Denny warned the court that not keeping district populations within 10 percent could spark a legal challenge and that BGADD would stand responsible if a mistake were made.
Denny said making the changes with BGADD would “take an hour or two,” and using people could take four or five days, depending on how many of the district lines have to be moved.
“We’ve been doing this every 10 years forever and ever and never had a problem,” said Magistrate David Ruggles.
Magistrate Buddy Sims voted against moving the lines manually, saying that the fiscal court isn’t saving $3,000.
“We’re still going to have to pay the committee members,” he said.
Judge-Executive John Wayne Conway said he isn’t interested in paying BGADD any more than the county already does.
“I would say it’s already on their computers, they just want us to pay for the information,” he said.
“I think we already pay Bluegrass ADD enough
“In my opinion it would be $3,000 well-spent,” Denny responded, “because it’s secure. If a mistake is made manually, the court’s responsible.”