The city of North Charleston has released its proposed new City Council district lines that reflect an increasing spillover into Dorchester County.
One of the new City Hall seats is drawn totally in Dorchester County, while another seat is about 90 percent in Dorchester, mirroring the large number of annexations and growth in that direction during the past decade.
Also, there were five majority black seats under the old lines, and there are five majority black seats in the new proposal. There are 10 seats in all. Each new district has about 9,745 people.
Beginning next week, the city will hold a series of public meetings for the public to review and provide comments on the redrawn lines.
The public meeting schedule includes:
--Monday, 6 p.m., North Charleston City Hall
--Tuesday, 6:30 p.m., Chicora Elementary School Auditorium
--May 31, 6:30 p.m., Fort Dorchester High School Cafeteria
--June 1, 6:30 p.m., Lambs Elementary School Cafeteria
--June 2, 6:30 p.m., Northwoods Community Center Gym
Copies of the draft map will be displayed throughout the city beginning now, include at City Hall and in community centers and churches. Also, residents can submit comments online from the city's website.
Under the 1965 Voting Rights Act, election plans are required to be drawn in a way that is fair to minorities. Section 5 of the act requires select states, mainly in the South and including South Carolina, to get "pre-clearance" from the U.S. Justice Department or a federal court before making any official change to an election plan.
The city hopes to have first reading of the council district ordinance at the June 9 City Council meeting.