Commissioners review precinct lines

Ector County Commissioners will consider precinct lines when they meet in regular session Oct. 26.

This follows results of the 2020 U.S. Census. David Mendez, an attorney with Bickerstaff, Health, Delgado, Acosta LLP in Austin, joined the special meeting via phone.

Mendez said the purpose of the meeting was to review the maps to see if there were any modifications or alternative plans commissioners wanted to look at and to receive public comment. There was no public comment.

The commissioners went into executive session for 12 minutes to talk to their attorneys before starting the meeting. County Judge Debi Hays said the county attorney advised them that it was OK to go into executive session.

The meeting was posted as an emergency meeting to “consider, discuss, and take any necessary action regarding any and all issues related to [a] Redistricting Work Session to receive and review illustrative plans to rebalance the population of the Commissioner Precincts and to discuss plan alternatives.”

Mendez said he had reported to commissioners at the end of September that the census showed that the four county commissioner precincts were out of balance.

“The data that’s up on that chart is the 2020 census information for each of the four Commissioner precincts. You agree[d] to 164,399 people. That means if you divide that equally among the four commissioners, each one should have 41,098 people. And what the census actually shows is that Precinct 1 grew faster than anything else in the county and it’s 31% over populated with the 53,831 people,” Mendez said. “The other precincts … didn’t grow as fast and so, for example, number 2’s pretty much even. It’s right at 41,505, or about a percent over populated. But precincts 3 and 4 are greatly under populated. So precinct 3 has only 32,457 people. It needs to gain about almost 9,000 people to get closer to even. And Commissioner Rodriguez’s precinct 4 is at 36,596 people, or about 11% under populated. So that’s the exercise. We needed to move population, or territory, from precinct 1 and to 3 and 4 so we could get it even.”

Mendez said they got together two weeks ago and came up with revisions.