A public input process on the redistribution of the Tarrant County Commissioners’ Court compound will begin on October 12 (Courtesy of Trinity Metro)
When Tarrant County Commissioners received a presentation at the Sept. 28 court meeting on the redistribution, one of the key findings was that the current boundary lines – drawn in 2011 – are still in balance.
The presentation, prepared by Bickerstaff Health Delgado Acosta LLP, showed the 2011 rows using data from the 2020 census. Based on their analysis of the 2020 data, there is a 1.97% gap between the larger Ward, Ward 2, with 532,325 people, and the smallest, Ward 3, which has 521,942 people and includes most of northeast Tarrant County.
According to GK Maenius, administrator of Tarrant County, the rule of thumb for drawing district boundaries is that the gap between the smallest and the largest district does not exceed 10%.
“A lot of people have moved to Tarrant County [over the past decade], and that really balanced out each of those neighborhoods, ”Maenius said. “Our numbers are balanced – in fact our numbers are better balanced than they were 10 years ago in each of these [precincts]. “
For this reason, staff at Bickerstaff noted that the court does not have to draw new lines because it is still in balance.
Commissioner Roy Charles Brooks, who represents Precinct 1, ultimately asked the tribunal to continue its planned public contribution process before deciding whether or not to redeploy a new district – a motion that passed 4-1, Commissioner JD Johnson voting against.
“I think for us to make the decision that we’re not going to redirect wouldn’t be good public policy,” Brooks said. “I think we need to at least go through the process. Even if we end up in one place, we have to go through the process and give people a chance to have a say. “
On October 1, Tarrant County released a calendar on its website the planned schedule of public contributions. The schedule begins October 12 and includes two drawing sessions open to the public as well as one-on-one contribution sessions in each compound, including a session on the evening of October 19 in compound 3 at the North East Courthouse. Hurst from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
As reported at the September 28 meeting, a decision on what to do next would likely be made at a court meeting on November 2.
According to Maenius, due to the balanced nature of the existing enclosure, this existing map will be the starting point for the public input process.
“What we are going to do [is] our first map will be the existing lines of the enclosure, ”said Maenius. “We’re going to take citizen feedback into account, and if there are minor changes that seem like a good thing to do, then we might consider that.
“But at the end of the day, it won’t be a major reshuffle of the cards, because our lines are pretty much where they need to be,” he continued. “[But] we don’t want to make this decision without asking the community what they think about it.