Commissioner Murman is mentioned in this article on redistricting in Creative Loafing:


Hillsborough Commissioners agree on new redistricting map

Posted by Mitch Perry on Tue, May 24, 2011 at 3:29 PM


Sounding slightly frustrated with the process, the Hillsborough Board of County Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved the idea of posting the latest of seven drawn maps of proposed new district lines in newspaper ads. The ads will inform citizens about the possible changes to those voting districts.

Hillsborough County’s Charter requires reapportionment of the County Commission’s single-member districts,1-4, every 10 years, when the U..S. Census is completed. But during their discussion today, commissioners expressed unhappiness with how the process has played out so far, though they admitted that it was too late to change it for this once-in-a-decade go-round.

There have been several public meetings about the changes, such as Monday night in Temple Terrace. The public can view those seven different maps and make written comments, but no public testimony is allowed at the meetings. There are three more such meetings in the next month, followed by two public hearings, at the second of which, on June 20, commissioners will ultimately vote on the new boundaries.

Commissioner Sandy Murman said she felt the process was a “little backwards.” She also expressed unease with the fact that the public — including Temple Terrace Mayor Joe Affronti on Monday night — has not been allowed to speak at the meetings, a disappointment shared by Commissioner Ken Hagan.

The most significant changes from the current configuration is that Districts 1 and 3, represented by Murman and Les Miller, respectively, are expected to gain more potential voters, and Districts 2 and 4, chaired by Victor Crist and Al Higginbotham, will lose voters (the idea is to keep all four districts around 300,000 people).

Also, District 3 is officially listed as a minority district seat, created to maximize the opportunity for a minority representative candidate to be elected, which also plays a part in how that line is drawn.

After staff officials said they intended in the ad to inform voters about the changes by posting one new map of the current district lines (out of seven that have been drawn up), Miller worried about how the BOCC would determine that map.

However, Commissioner Kevin Beckner wondered why that was a big deal, since that map would clearly be listed in the ad as simply a potential new map, with information containing a website and phone number where residents could learn more about the process.

But Miller countered that it did matter, since he said there was considerable confusion among the public about the change, especially since one map ripped Progress Village completely from his currently drawn District 3 seat.

That’s when Beckner burst out with his obvious frustration with the process, calling it “so flawed.” He said that in the future, the public should see all of the proposed maps concurrently, whereas right now new maps are being added from meeting to meeting.

Commissioner Victor Crist then chimed in, disputing a story published days ago in the Tampa Tribune that claimed he was making a grab for Temple Terrace in his District 2 seat, taking it out of Miller’s District 3 area.

“There’s a lot of confusion even in the media,” Crist snarled, referring to the allegation that he was trying to pick off Temple Terrace, when he said it was already in his district.

The board ultimately voted to publish an ad that contains a map of the county with firmly drawn lines representing the current boundaries, with a dotted line superimposed on it that shows one particular map, the latest version known as Map F.

After Tuesday night, when there will be a showing of the seven maps at the C. Blythe Andrews Jr. Public Library, 2607 East Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Tampa between 6 and 8 p.m., there will be two more
public viewings. They are:

* May 31, 6:30-8:30 p.m., Plant City Hall, 302 West Reynolds St., Plant City

* June 2, 10 a.m.-noon, Sun City Center Community Association, 1009 North Pebble Beach Blvd., Greater Sun City

Other key dates:

* Public Hearing — June 9, 6-8 p.m., County Center, 2nd Floor Boardroom, 601 East Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Commissioners to discuss alternatives to proposed district boundaries.

* Public Hearing — June 20, 6-8 p.m., County Center, 2nd Flood Boardroom, 601 East Kennedy Blvd., Tampa. Commissioners to adopt district boundaries.