The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia


April 29, 2011

Drawing the lines

As a whole, southern West Virginia’s population decreased during the last decade. And while the changes were slight in some areas, the losses here and growth in other locations across the state have set the stage for lawmakers to draw new district lines to decide where our representation in both Charleston and Washington will come from.

Our state legislature has been charged with the task of determining how voting districts will be made up and to this point our reaction to their efforts is rather mixed.

The Senate has wasted no time in addressing the issue and Sen. John Unger, D. Berkeley, is chairing the upper chamber’s work. He has established a schedule of meetings to be held statewide in order to obtain public input (locally, the group will meet June 1 at 7 p.m. in Beckley at Tamarack).

Unger has emphasized that he wants the process to be completely transparent and open, something he said didn’t happen 10 years ago when he was a younger legislator. Gerrymandering, at its finest.

Transparency hasn’t been a strong suit for government in West Virginia in the past. Steps have been taken, and plenty of rhetoric has been tossed around that claims we are changing that here in the Mountain State. To that we say, slowly, and certainly still not surely.

We must acknowledge that it has gotten better, but too many meetings and decisions are being made behind closed doors or in other private settings.

So we applaud Unger and encourage him to stick with his plan.

Now as for the House, the movement to take up redistricting hasn’t been too strong yet. We hope the pace quickens soon. Maybe after the special gubernatorial primary is over in a couple of weeks we’ll see some action.

Let’s hope so, because making determinations on district lines are vitally important to us and the decisions that will be made are ones we must live with for the next 10 years.

Text Only
  • Court ruling

    Freedom of information won’t be so free any longer

    April 20, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, April 19, 2014

    April 18, 2014

  • New thinking

    Best way to address past financial failings is to look for alternatives

    April 17, 2014

  • Continuing the fight

    Solutions for drug war may need to be as tough as the problem

    April 16, 2014

  • Take me home

    You can go home again.

    April 15, 2014

  • Team work

    There is no doubt that last week’s announcement by the New River Gorge Regional Development Authority of plans for a 500-acre Mega-Site development is one of the most visionary ideas we have seen in southern West Virginia.

    April 13, 2014

  • Thumbs — Saturday, April 12, 2014

    April 12, 2014

  • Concord

    Impressive achievements in higher education reflected in quality of finalists for president

    April 10, 2014

  • Service

    In West Virginia, we often measure our “wealth” by all the things we can generally do without.

    April 9, 2014

  • Nutrition

    How much can we trust government to advise us on food?

    April 8, 2014