In reply to Don Ballardâ€™s letter advocating for election districts for the Lincoln County Board of Commissioners I would like to express an opposing view.
In 2006, proponents of districts put forth a shameful plan that had no provisions for reapportionment as populations shift.
It was designed for political outcomes that would favor incumbents. It was designed without any public input and it was soundly defeated for very good reason by a margin of 59.49 percent to 40.51 percent. As I recall Ballard favored that plan too.
At that time one of the â€œbattle criesâ€ was â€œdistricts work for the schools, why not for the BOC?â€ There was much misinformation distributed during that campaign and as we all now know school districts have not worked for 35 years. Yes, after 35 years there is finally an attempt to make them fair.
Districts create opportunities for â€œcareer politicians.â€ They are little more than toys for politicians to manipulate to gain political advantage. Districts create an environment for political mischief. Any district plan should also include term limits. I believe that as a rule at-large elections are more likely to produce the best qualified and least corrupt officials.
Its only been five years since the last referendum on districts. We have had to wait 35 years to get fair districts for the BOE. Why donâ€™t we wait and see how this works out before we rush willy nilly into another districting proposal? Why donâ€™t we take up the BOC districts on a Lincoln County timetable, say in the year 2040?