The Mt. Juliet Board of Commissioners defers on its redrawing of the city’s four districts at its meeting held on Monday evening.
The board voted unanimously to defer on the ordinance until its next meeting in two weeks.
The city board has discussed Mt. Juliet’s redistricting for more than a a month. The board also looked at three different proposals of a redrawing on the city’s voting districts throughout the upcoming period.
City officials, including Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Administrator Rob Ealy, see their efforts at redistricting as an opportunity to balance their population numbers in each district.
District 3, which is in the east and central portions of Mt. Juliet, would have the most significant change as it would move south over Interstate-40, which leads to the entire western portion from South Mt. Juliet Road being redrawn into that district.
District 4 would become smaller due to those changes in District 3, while District 1, which incorporates much of the north side, will move south. District 2, located in the west portion of Mt. Juliet, will move east.
District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice said that Mt. Juliet’s redistricting will provide a significant impact to both his district and District 3.
Ealy suggested that the city commission go with its second redrawing of the city’s districts, which would allow the Jackson Hills neighborhood to be in District 3, and for an area west of North Mt. Juliet Road to be in District 1.
District 1 Commissioner Ray Justice noted that a section farthest west of Lebanon Road, which he currently holds, will have to move into District 2.
Ealy said that it could be easily admitted into this district, given that this section has more than 40 or 50 residents.
Justice suggested that they look over the different proposals of Mt. Juliet’s redistricted maps for the next two weeks.
District 2 Commissioner Bill Trivett recommended that the city commission to work together on correcting their redrawing of Lebanon Road into their district map while addressing other concerns over the city’s redistricting.
District 3 Commissioner Scott Hefner pointed out that Moreland Farms splits Clearview Drive in half as the street’s western section is in District 2 and the street’s eastern section is in District 3.
Ealy clarified that the census blocks split Clearview Drive due to the street being in the census block line between Districts 2 and 3.
The commissioners also discussed the splitting of other neighborhoods affected by redistricting in Mt. Juliet, including the Providence area.
“It is unfortunate to see our neighborhoods get split sometimes, but we are seeing this trend a lot more in our city,” said Mt. Juliet Mayor James Maness.
Maness assured that no one is getting displaced in the city’s redistricting.
“The redistricting does not impact me, but as a guiding principle, I think we should have the fastest-growing districts move closer to the bottom to allow more growth and have the districts we anticipate growing slowly move towards the top,” said Maness.
Maness suggested that they defer on this ordinance so that the commission could discuss more of the redistricting.