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Oliver Playing Major Role In DeKalb Redistricting

The local legislator is on two committees charged with redrawing DeKalb commission and school districts.


A North Druid Hills-Briarcliff lawmaker is playing a major role in this year’s efforts to redraw DeKalb County commission and school board districts.

State Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver, D-Decatur, is a member of two House DeKalb caucus committees that will be proposing the new boundaries. She also hopes to reduce DeKalb’s school board from nine to seven members.

Oliver’s District 83 includes the Sagamore Hills, Oak Grove, Northlake, Clairmont Hills and ValleyBrook communities.

Every decade, after the U.S. Census is completed, state governments, or an independent body, make changes to district lines at all levels of government.

This means, a citizen who lived in one county commission or school board district last year may live in another district after the boundaries have been redrawn and approved.

Oliver’s HB671 “addresses the issue of just how we go about reducing the school board’s size,” she said. “We can’t just decide to suddenly shorten the term of office of someone who has been duly elected by DeKalb citizens without taking the proper steps. So this bill is designed to work out all of those questions.”

Oliver’s proposed legislation:

  • Eliminates two positions from the school board as of Jan. 1, 2013;
  • Stipulates that board members from districts 1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 remain in office until their terms expire;
  • Calls for a nonpartisan election for the remaining two districts – which have yet to be drawn – to be held later this year.

The two committees are being chaired by state Rep. Simone Bell, D-Atlanta.

“We’ll be working with representatives from both the county commission and the school board to determine the new lines, and then bring those maps back to the full delegation,” Bell said. “These committees will be doing the legwork.

“Our timetable is to have everything reported out of the legislature by Feb. 14,” she added.

Paula January 20, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Why does the DCSS School Board have any say in te re-drawn lines? IMO, until this group can show some leadership and put our students first, they need to be left out of the process all together.
Sagamore 7 January 21, 2012 at 06:56 PM
This is my concern with MMO. She has created this legislation to reduce the sixe of the school board from 9 to 7 by getting rid of the 2 Super Districts. Those are GONE! But, the school board member who represents one of those two super districts gets to stay because his term isn't expired? The plan is to CREATE a district for Eugene Walker and GIVE him the district that HE LIVES in. They are creating a district specifically for HIM! What about Pam Speaks? She was the other board member from a super district. She doesn't have a district created just for her? Her term is up and she has to run again to be re-elected for another district. Does this seem fair? NO! Does this seem to favor Walker? YES! Does MMO have a solution? NO! Has she even made a suggestion for an alternative solution? NO! Here is another problem with MMO's well thought out legislation. (Well thought out is a joke.) The reason we have alternating members being elected every 4 years is so there are existing board members that have tenure and experience on the board no matter who is new to the board. We will now have only 2 board seats up for election this year, TWO! In 2014, we will have 5 board seats up for re-election. (and so on) This is also troubling that the board is not evenly divided for election purposes. 3 one year get elected and then 4 get elected in two years. We currently have 2 and 5 for election periods. This whole legislation STINKS of favoritism for one person. Dr. Eugene Walker!
Tom Doolittle January 21, 2012 at 09:09 PM
Why is there favoritism for Walker?
Sagamore 7 January 22, 2012 at 05:59 PM
Tom, The legislation gets rid of the 2 super districts and he is still around is why it is preferential to him. Why does he receive a new district that he was NOT elected for? Why isn't Speaks given a new district and then run for re-election this year? Apples to apples my friend and this smells of ROTTEN apples.
Tom Doolittle January 22, 2012 at 06:24 PM
Sag 7: Surely you can venture some answers to your own questions--why is there favoritism for Walker?
OakGroveParent February 06, 2012 at 10:23 PM
Any word on the high level administration changes in the works at Oak Grove Elementary?

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