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Leuthold plan would split Farragut

Former District 5 County Commissioner Frank Leuthold has submitted a commission district rezoning plan that would split Farragut into two separate districts.

The plan puts precincts 65 North, Concord North, and 66 North, Farragut Ward I, in the Sixth District. Farragut’s Ward II, 66 South, would stay in the Fifth District.

“His [plan] will carry some credibility to the committee,” District 5 Commissioner Richard Briggs told Farragut’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen Thursday, May 14.

In his plan, Leuthold stated he “was the chief architect” for Commission’s redistricting plans following the 1980, 1990 and 2000 censuses.

“I believe we had support from the redistricting committee to lock Farragut together … their intention is to keep communities together,” Briggs said of the last committee meeting May 7.

“I will leave you with the warning in caveat that we need to remain vigilant,” Briggs said.

Interim Town Administrator Gary Palmer also told the Board the Town had submitted its own plan to the redistricting committee.

The Town’s plan keeps populations between districts within .03 percent of each other, and moves precincts 68 East, 67 and 65 North (East Cedar Bluff, North Cedar Bluff and Concord North, respectively) out of District 5.

Under the plan, no new precincts are moved into District 5.

“It’s going to be difficult to please everyone with this. I’m not sure that anyone’s plans will be what will finally be adopted.

“Probably what we’ll do is … try to find something that is a compromise everyone finds agreeable,” Briggs said.

Briggs said he wants to submit a plan as well, one that retained the borders of communities such as Farragut, Halls and Fountain City as well as could be managed.

“I think it’s important we stay out there maintaining the importance of community integrity,” he said.

Any plan submitted must meet certain criteria, including that population in each district be relatively equal, no voting precincts are split up, that communities not be split where possible and that no term-limited elected official be moved to another district.

The redistricting committee will recommend plans to County Commission, which has final approval of the redistricting plan.

The redistricting is being done following a Knox County Charter amendment decreasing the number of County Commissioners from 19 to 11. The amendment is being challenged in court, although it has been dismissed once already.


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