Flagler County Commission and Flagler County School Board agree on how to redraw the county’s electoral district lines to reflect the latest census data.
The two elected councils met in a joint meeting on Oct. 5 to discuss the redistribution process required by Florida law every 10 years after the release of census results. The process is designed to alleviate population differences between different electoral districts.
“The goal here is really to preserve the principle of one person, one voice, making sure that each district has as many people as possible,” county administrator Heidi Petito said at the meeting.
County commissioners and school board members are elected throughout the county, so the new district boundaries will not affect who can vote for which candidate. They could nominate candidates for seats in the future, but districts cannot by law be redesigned in a way that attracts current elected council members out of their own districts.
For the joint meeting, county staff met with school district staff and presented three district change proposals that would even out population differences and keep each district’s overall population with a few percent of the others.
Council members received ballots listing the three and chose which one they preferred. For six of the eight elected officials present, it was Option C, which would expand the geographic area of Districts 1 and 5, move the coverage area from District 3, leave District 2 as it is, and narrow District 4 slightly.
The two dissenting votes were for Option B, which was similar but would also have slightly enlarged District 2. Two board members – Cheryl Massaro, school board member and County Commissioner Joe Mullins – were absent.
The public can comment on the proposed new district boundaries at the county commission meeting at 5 p.m. on October 18 or at the school board meeting at 6 p.m. on October 19.
The redistribution process must be completed by the end of December.