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Government/Politics

Bexar County commissioners have three options as they finalize the new redistricting map

Screenshot of county commissioners.png
Bexar County
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Screenshot of county commissioners during their live streamed meeting on Oct. 26, 2021

Bexar County commissioners on Tuesday heard from a law firm hired to redraw county precinct lines based on the 2020 Census.

The county's population grew by nearly 17% since the last census in 2010 to well over 2 million residents.

The law firm presented commissioners with three potential redistricting plans. Attorney Rolando Rios said all the plans can still be tweaked, but one must be approved at the Nov. 9 commissioners meeting in order for the precincts to be in place for the filing period for the March elections.

Rios described to commissioners a "Plan A," which attempts to equally distribute new population growth among the four precincts -- or about half-a-million residents in each.

"Precincts 1 and 4 are close to the ideals, so they don't really have to change. They can remain just the same unless you want to change them. So we have to move population from three into two."

The law firm was hired to ensure the newly drawn precincts pass the muster of constitutional requirements and voting laws in hopes of avoiding legal challenges.

Rios said the plans also strived to keep the racial balance in each of the precincts the same and not carve up suburban communities, like Helotes and Leon Valley, into separate commissioner precincts.

County Judge Nelson Wolff said the county census numbers show how little land the City of San Antonio has annexed. He also said the census data indicates the county is attracting more higher educated and more affluent residents than the city is.

In other action on Tuesday:

Commissioners approved plans by Bexar County Clerk Lucy Adame-Clark to assume administrative oversight of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas Library Collections.

The court approved a budget transfer of more than $780,000 to fund five assistant public defenders and two office assistants.

Commissioners awarded a $2.2 million project to Structura, Inc. for improvements to the county's urban farm on the East Side. The farm is intended to produce healthy vegetables for underserved communities.

The court directed County Facilities Manager Dan Curry to move forward with plans on the construction of a $10 million Bexar County Workforce Training Center in the Brooks City Base area. The 30,000 square foot training center is expected to produce workers for local advanced manufacturing jobs.

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