(11/06/2001)
Voter redistricting was a key issue on the agenda of the Calhoun Commission last night. The Commission voted on a proposed order to equalize voters in two districts, Washington and Sherman.

The census mandate requires Sherman District to have more voters and Washington District to have less. The number of voters in each voter district cannot vary more than 4%.

Redistricting happens every ten years with the national census. Equalization has been made in Calhoun in 1980, 1990 and now 2000.

The Commission, using road and creek boundaries, proposed to transfer Washington District voters into Sherman District by incorporating an area between the right and left forks of Crummies Creek. This involves the transfer of 62 voters.

Another voter district proposal is to transfer voters in Washington District to Lee District, by taking in an area between the left fork and right fork of Rush Run between Orma and Arnoldsburg. This would involve the transfer of 99 voters. A total of 161 voters must be reassigned.

These proposals will continue to be reviewed, at a special meeting on December 21, 2001 at 1 p.m. for a final decision. This time frame is required by law.

Redistricting could affect certain individuals who desire to run for public office, regarding the limiting of candidates from each voting district.

The 2002 election in Calhoun will see Democrat and Republican executive committee members elected. The school board will also be affected, in addition to the County Commission seat currently held by Republican David Barr, the magistrate post currently held by appointee Rick Postalwait, Bill Stemple's House of Delegates seat and a State Senate seat.

The historical magisterial district lines will remain unchanged.

The Commission entered into an agreement with an independent company to develop policy for cellular phone towers in Calhoun.

Randy Burgess, Director of Calhoun EMS, asked for financial relief for his agency that has been paying the expenses of a 911 dispatcher, an irregular agreement set up several years ago. The Commission allocated $12,500 to Calhoun EMS to help pay for a dispatcher, giving them some financial relief.

Burgess said Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center had discontinued providing supplies and oxygen to the squad, estimated to be worth about $11,000 annually, which he said was creating a crunch on his budget. Burgess was asked to meet with MHHCC administrators to develop a written understanding and agreement regarding cooperation between the two services.

Minnie Hamilton Health Care Center initiated their own ambulance service because of problems obtaining county EMS services for transfers. Burgess said there was a problem at that time. Calhoun EMS, funded by taxpayer money, was originally designed to focus on emergency service, although Burgess said his agency had no problem providing transports when squads are available.

There was some discussion regarding a proposal to locate a multi-agency service building behind Calhoun Middle/High School, which could include Calhoun EMS, Office of Emergency Services, 911 and possibly other agencies. Burgess said he had numerous safety concerns running emergency vehicles through school grounds from that location.

The Commission passed resolutions regarding "Bernard Pius Bell Day" on November 9, an "America Recycles Proclamation" and a resolution supporting the development of U.S. 33.

Sheri Sampson was appointed Assistant Director of the Calhoun Office of Emergency Services.

The Commission will address a new grant for further security at the courthouse at the next meeting.

The courthouse Thanksgiving Dinner will be held on November 16 from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. The Commission approved the Friday after Thanksgiving as a holiday for courthouse employees.


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