I traveled to Brunswick a few weeks back to report on the Georgia State House and Senate’s Redistricting Public Hearing. The house and senate held meetings around the state to allow input and hear concerns from citizens and groups about the redistricting process.

At the Brunswick hearing it was apparent most people present were there to hurl verbal complaints and insults against the members of the committee and the process. That was with a few exceptions, including a contingent from Appling County. Appling County Commissioner Chairman Mike Shumans and District 4 Commissioner Doug Harris both spoke to the committee respectfully and simply requested that our county be made whole again within the Georgia House of Representative Districts, as our county had been split between House Districts 156 and 178 for the past 10 years. Both men were very respectful in their requests/presentations and the committee thanked the men for their respectful comments.

I guess those requests fell on deaf ears. According to the new house map that has been approved, Appling County will once again be split between two districts. The northern portion of the county will now be a part of District 157, which will include all of Jeff Davis, the portion of Appling mentioned, the major portion of Tattnall and all of Evans. The southern portion of Appling County will be in District 178 and also includes all of Bacon and Pierce and a large portion of Wayne County.

Therefore, for the past 10 years and now for the next 10 years (20 total years), Appling County will be split within the Georgia House of Representative Districts. Thanks committee members for listening (sarcasm).

I guess we should thank our lucky stars that we are complete within the senate district. Senator Blake Tillery’s District 19 will include Telfair, Wheeler, Montgomery, Toombs, Tattnall, Long, Jeff Davis, Appling, Wayne and Bacon counties and a portion of Coffee County.

Maybe the next time these hearings roll around, the people of Appling County will show up in large numbers and express our feelings in a little less civil manner. I personally feel like 10 years is too long for our county to be split, much less 20. Thanks to the county and city officials who took time out of their busy schedules to attend the hearing this year.