Williamson County sets up redistricting committee ahead of census data release

Williamson County set up a redistricting committee ahead of the census data release. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County set up a redistricting committee ahead of the census data release. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

Williamson County set up a redistricting committee ahead of the census data release. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)

In preparation for the redistricting process at the county level, Williamson County commissioners voted Nov. 17 to form a three-person redistricting committee to begin looking at the process and how the county should move forward.

“The reason I wanted to get started now, and I know we don't have a census until April 1, but I felt like if you guys could start meeting now you can lay out a game plan.” County Judge Bill Gravell said.

The three members are Commissioners Cynthia Long of Precinct 2 and Valerie Covey of Precinct 3, who will also chair the committee, as well as George Strebel, who works with Williamson County Graphical Information Systems.

Gravell tasked the committee to look into legal representation to guide the county during the process, whether additional committee members will be needed and a plan for the new redistricting process.

While the 2020 census data will not be available until April 1, Gravell said he would like to get the conversation started so the county is prepared to begin the redistricting process when it begins.


The committee will only advise on redistricting at the county’s four precinct levels. Individual jurisdictions such as cities and schools will have to do redistricting at their own levels, and any redistricting that happens at the state level will be done by state legislators, officials said.

Commissioners added they anticipate the population in the county to be about 625,000 following the 2020 census, up from about 422,000 in 2010.

When a concern about gerrymandering, or the manipulation of boundaries to favor one party, was brought up during public comment, Covey assured the public that would not occur in Williamson County. Covey, who was part of redistricting efforts in 2010, said it was a smooth process in working with data experts to draw lines legally.

She added there are several rules that they have to follow as far as not separating groups of people and ensuring representation at the state level also falls in line.

“There's all kinds of technical pieces of drawing the lines that have to be taken into consideration,” Covey said.
By Ali Linan
Ali Linan began covering Georgetown for Community Impact Newspaper in 2018. Her reporting focuses on education and Williamson County. Ali hails from El Paso and graduated from Syracuse University in 2017.


MOST RECENT

Of the total cases reported to date, 11,304 are estimated to have recovered, and there are an estimated 806 active cases in Williamson County as of Nov. 24. (Community Impact Staff)
Williamson County reports 337 new cases of coronavirus Nov. 24

Of the total cases reported to date, 11,304 are estimated to have recovered, and there are an estimated 806 active cases in Williamson County as of Nov. 24.

Harini Logan, 10, won the 66th annual Express-News Spelling Bee at the University of Texas at San Antonio downtown campus on March 17, 2019. For 2021, the event is slated to be held in March at the Brauntex Performing Arts Theatre in New Braunfels. (Photo by Jerry Lara, courtesy the San Antonio Express News)
New Braunfels to host regional spelling bee and more Central Texas news

Read the latest business and community news from Central Texas.

The Commissioners Court approved funding for the program Nov. 24. (Taylor Girtman/Community Impact Newspaper)
Williamson County funds COVID-19 convalescent plasma program

Some 252 Williamson County patients have received the therapy of the 1,300 total patients.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced a COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan for the state Nov. 23 for a vaccine he said could be available as soon as December. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announces COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan

The vaccine could start being distributed "as early as next month," according to a Nov. 23 news release.

As of Nov. 23, there are 63 patients hospitalized, 23 in intensive care units and 12 on a ventilator. (Community Impact staff)
376 new cases, 2 additional deaths reported in Williamson County from Nov. 20-23

As of Nov. 23, there are 63 patients hospitalized, 23 in intensive care units and 12 on a ventilator.

P. Terry’s Burger Stand is expected to open its long-awaited Pflugerville location this January. (Courtesy P. Terry's Burger Stand)
P. Terry's to open in Pflugerville in January and more Central Texas news

Read the latest Central Texas business and community news.

covid
Williamson County reports 203 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death Nov. 20

Williamson County reported 203 new cases of the coronavirus and one death Nov. 20.

Laura Colangelo
Q&A: Laura Colangelo discusses challenges facing private schools during pandemic

Colangelo said private schools have adapted to remote learning and other obstacles in 2020 despite less revenue and a 9% decline in enrollment statewide.

Festival attendees will have access to augmented reality artworks throughout the galleria. (Courtesy Bee Cave Arts Foundation)
Inaugural interactive light festival coming soon to Bee Cave and more Central Texas updates

Read the latest business and community news from the Austin area.

The Round Rock Express play at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock. (Courtesy city of Round Rock)
Round Rock Express will have a new affiliate after Astros announce departure

A new affiliate is expected to be announced soon for the 2021 season at the Dell Diamond.

Schools now have the power to temporarily suspend on-campus instruction if “a significant number of the instructional staff at the campus is impacted due to a confirmed COVID-19 outbreak." (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Texas Education Agency authorizes schools to close doors for 14 days due to coronavirus-related staffing concerns

Campuses can now instate a hybrid or fully remote instruction model for up to 14 days if adequate instructional staffing is not possible due to high numbers of COVID-19 cases among employees.

Kalahari Resorts & Conventions ended its grand opening event with a fireworks display Nov. 14. (Ali Linan/Community Impact Newspaper)
Kalahari Resorts & Conventions celebrates grand opening in Round Rock and more top Central Texas news

Read the most popular stories from the past week from the Austin area.