Meeting on redistricting Co-Lin a disappointment

Published 7:40 pm Tuesday, August 24, 2021

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To the Editor:

I was disappointed that The Democrat did not cover the Monday, Aug. 16, regional meeting of the MS Legislature’s Standing Committee on Redistricting at Co-Lin. I was also disappointed that the meeting was poorly attended by members of the public and the Committee as well ( and not one Committee member was wearing a mask). From what I could discern from the roll call, only half of the Committee membership was in attendance. I counted ten members present. I was not able to determine names or their districts because the “tent placards” were hard to read even from the front row (I was sitting there) of the auditorium.

The handouts were hard to understand, much less read. One had to have advanced degrees in mathematics and analytical physics to peruse them. The chairman tried to explain the purpose of the meeting but all we were able to gather was “to get public input regarding the 2021 re-drawing of congressional districts.” One speaker opined: “How can we make public comments when we have nothing to comment on? We don’t even know what the process will be used to make those redistricting decisions nor promises for comment after the districts are re-drawn.”

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What I witnessed that Monday evening was not a good example of transparency in government; and, sadly, it showed a lack of respect for the public at large and in those in attendance that evening.

Mike Gemmell, Natchez resident