The Logan County Commission approved new magisterial districts for Logan County on Wednesday, December first.
Commissioners voted 2-1 to approve four districts to replace the three districts that have been in place, more or less, since 1993.
Magisterial districts determine eligible residencies of candidates to run for election to the county commission and board of education.
Four districts doesn’t mean more commissioners but it does mean at least two districts will be up for election every cycle.
The map selected was the seventh map in a series of the maps contracted by the commissioners from the West Virginia GIS Tech Center.
President Danny Godby and Commissioner Danny Ellis voted in favor of the new map. Commissoner Diana Barnette voted against the map and cited a campaign promise to support a three district map that divided the county into North, Central and Southern districts.
The choice of a map concludes a contentious few weeks of a stand off between Tridelphia residents and Logan Board of Education President Jeremy Farley.
According to West Virginia Code, each county shall be laid off by the county commission into magisterial districts, not less than three nor more than ten in number, and as nearly equal as may be in territory and population.
Logan County was previously divided by Western, Central and Eastern districts. According to orders obtained from the Logan County Clerk’s office, the last change in boundary lines occurred fourteen years ago but the map had been more or less the same since 1993.
Meetings of the commission have been regularly attended by residents of the Tridelphia area. Man area residents supported a three district map originally presented to commissioners October twenty-fifth by Gerald Slone. That map was evetually credited to Chapmanville resident and local business man Rick Abraham.
Most of the audience at meetings were in favor of Abraham’s map except for Jeremy Farley.
Farley the current President of the Logan County Board of Education and is the only announced candidate for the Eastern District of the county commission. Farley says limiting the district lines to only considering the municipalities of Chapmanville, Logan and Man will put restrictions on individuals that may want to run for office. Moreover, Farley says most Logan County residents don’t live in a municipality.
“I’m not against redistricting in and of itself,” Farley said. “I don’t agree with the map that was presented by the community group on October 25.”
Commissioners approved a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the West Virginia GIS Tech Center to redraw the existing voting precincts and magisterial districts to comply with the rules and regulations set forth in state code. Commissioners agreed to pay GIS $5,000 to produce maps to consider for possible future redistricting.
The new map will first go into effect during the 2022 Primary Election.