Chairman Vows District 5 Fix

WINNSBORO – When a bill passed by the State Legislature last month failed to fully correct the lines of District 5, State Sen. Creighton Coleman (D-17) said only County Council could undo the confusion wrought by the 2011 reapportionment. Council Chairman David Ferguson (District 5) said last month he would have done so in the first place had he received even a phone call from Coleman or State Rep. MaryGail Douglas (D-41), who introduced the legislation in their respective chambers, or from School Board member Bobby Cunningham, who was affected by the debacle.

Last week, Coleman sent a letter to Interim County Administrator Milton Pope, asking Council to consider amending the district lines in order to make the School Board District 5 consistent with the County Council District 5. After Monday night’s County Council meeting, Ferguson said Council would indeed do just that.

“Yes, we are going to address it,” Ferguson said. “It was kind of indicated that it was our fault that it was like that. That’s done in Columbia.”

Cunningham was elected to the Fairfield County School Board in 2010. Following the 2010 census that showed a shift in racial demographics in areas of the county, County Council initiated a redistricting process, which it completed in 2011. At that time, Cunningham was inexplicably drawn out of District 5 and into District 6. Cunningham said he was not made aware of the change until he showed up to vote in the 2012 elections. The legislation was designed to place Cunningham, as well as five others, back into District 5 for both the School Board and County Council, whose lines have traditionally followed one another. After Gov. Nikki Haley signed the bill into law on March 4 and Cunningham received his new voter registration card, however, it became apparent that the bill had not fully achieved its goal.

“I am in District 5 for the School Board,” Cunningham said two weeks ago, “and District 6 for County Council.”

Ferguson was not explicit as to when Council would be taking the matter up, but said it would be addressed well before two months had passed.

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