A public hearing about a new map for Caswell County Electoral District lines was held during Monday morning’s meeting of the Board of Commissioners. County Manager Bryan Miller provided a Powerpoint presentation explaining the redrawing of district boundaries that is done every ten years after the new Census figures are available. It is done to ensure that voting power and representation are distributed equally based on population.

Piedmont Triad Regional Council (PTRC) redrew the Caswell map and presented it to the Board of Commissioners as proposed districts. The board reviewed the maps and determined they had additional priorities that were not met.

Miller worked with PTRC and staff to work with these changes.

The priorities included keeping the sitting commissioners in a redrawn district with 1, 2, and 4 co-mingling on the western part of the county and one district moving north and one moving south.

Population changes creates a challenge to keep them as even as possible. The new 7% population shift causes the current electoral districts to be 16% out of balance.

The new Census data shows that the minority population in Caswell County has declined 506. African American population has declined by 1,187 and other minority populations have increased by 681.

One public speaker was not happy with the news that prison and prison work farm populations are included in the redistricting process although they cannot vote.

The hearing was then closed until Tuesday morning to allow any additional public comments to be sent in.

CHANGES IN AGENDA

The board voted to postpone talking about the possible redesign of Town Square and the Ethics Policy changes since Commissioner Nate Hall couldn’t attend the meeting. He had spearheaded discussion on these topics and possibly has more information to share. It will be placed on the next agenda.

Several speakers talked about the Confederate monument in Town Square and how it does not properly represent the people or the town. One questioned why new businesses would want to move to Town Square next to the monument. It was suggested to move it to a “less distinguished place” such as a museum or private home.

It was pointed out that the question of the cost of moving it plus redesigning the square had come up more than once. “Taxes have went up substantially this year,” one speaker said before pointing out that $5,000 had been spent on a survey that appeared to have little impact. She also said that moving the monuments to the left side of the Historic Court House had not been one of the options on the survey.

One speaker offered to pledge $2,500 to the cost if commissioners would vote yes. She pleaded with them to be “fair and inclusive” in their decision. “People walk by it every day and know what it represents. It’s not black versus white.”

PLANNING BOARD

The Caswell County Planning Board came under attack at the meeting by criticism from citizens as well as from Commissioner Steve Oestreicher who spoke about the poor track record of Planning Board members showing up to make a quorum to be able to vote on important matters. He wants to talk to Chairman Russell Johnson before making a motion on some possible action.

During commissioner’s comments, Commissioner John Dickerson proposed asking Johnson and the board members to come to the commissioner’s meeting to present their side of the story.

Other Business

*During a special recess, free flu shots were administered by the Caswell County Health Department.

*The Opioid Resolution was approved.

*The Bartlett Yancey Senior High School girls’ volleyball team was recognized for its outstanding season as they made it to the top four teams with one game to go on Tuesday night.

*The Department of Transportation has received the plat for work on Shadow Ridge Road and will be moving forward.

*The sale of the Caswell County Home Health Agency is now complete.