Denton County won’t be undergoing redistricting anytime soon.
During a special meeting Friday, the Denton County Commissioners Court unanimously agreed to accept Commissioner Hugh Coleman’s motion to withdraw his request for redistricting.
Coleman originally suggested redistricting to help balance the growth that the county had been experiencing, particularly in Precinct 1, which Coleman represents. It includes the Lake Cities, Celina, Prosper and part of Frisco.
“I’m bigger geographically than the other three county commissioners' precincts combined,” Coleman said during the meeting. “There’s a large amount of growth. … I’m willing to lay aside redistricting upon a commitment from y’all during this upcoming budget process that we reallocate resources to Precinct 1 to better handle the huge amount of growth.”
County Judge Andy Eads said he would agree to the proposal.
“As a former county commissioner for 12 years in this county, I understand the resource allocation problems that we have,” Eads said. “As we work to build and maintain roads and bridges across the county, I’m sympathetic to that and to your desire for increased funding so you can represent your rapidly growing area.”
Coleman said with the additional funding, he hopes to address projects such as FM 2931, FM 1385 and the Indian Trail.
When the commissioners initially considered the possibility of redistricting, many in the community questioned the court’s intentions and if it could legally redistrict without the 2020 census data since there was a possibility the census could be delayed.
“I didn’t think it would be turned into a huge partisan issue. I thought it would be done for the benefit of the citizens to equal out the populations,” Coleman said.
Commissioner Ron Marchant, who represents Precinct 2, agreed the county has been experiencing growth. He said the idea of redistricting was not a partisan issue. Precinct 2 includes Carrollton, The Colony and others.
“It was a discussion the court had to balance the workload,” he said.
Marchant agreed with the decision to put off redistricting and to give more help to Precinct 1 during the next budget season.
Commissioner Dianne Edmondson, who represents Precinct 4, said her district has been rapidly growing as well. She said she would not like Coleman to withdraw his request, but she would support him and the rest of the court in whatever it decided. Precinct 4 includes Flower Mound and cities west.
“These citizens are not being represented equally on this commissioners court, and I personally would like to hold off, get further information from attorneys who specialize in this sort of thing and make a decision at a later time,” she said.
As far as redistricting in the future, Marchant said he probably won't vote to bring up again, but if the item is revisited it more than likely won’t be until after the 2020 census.
“We put it bed and now we’re moving on to things that are important to the county,” he said.