Imagine the least technologically skilled people coming together to discuss a wonky presentation involving maps, lines and boundaries, and that would only partially describe the weirdness of Wednesday's special meeting of the Kerr County Commissioner's Court.
WATCH THE VIDEO HERE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-KDYOpGLPrA
With a redistricting consultant on the phone, a GoTo Meeting screen shared via YouTube, and many people talking over each other and you had redistricting in the 21st Century.
Even Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly admitted it was an unconventional approach. At one point, the commissioners started giggling because of the complexities of navigating a map shared remotely. People got up to gaze at the television screens in the courtroom throughout the meeting to better understand the map-making process.
In the end, the commissioners voted 4-0, Pct. 4 Commissioner Don Harris was absent, to approve a draft plan that slightly alters boundaries for Precinct 1 and Precinct 4. The goal, of course, was to balance out the precincts as evenly as possible by considering the racial makeup of each of the areas covered. It's a tricky process.
"You wonder, how in the world?" said Pct. 3 Commissioner Jonathan Letz, before being cut off by Kelly.
"They just threw a map on the table and did it," Kelly said.
That was sort of the essence of Wednesday's meeting — lots of questions about roads, stuff on maps, and repeating questions. However, the delayed redistricting process came out of the delays from the Texas legislature, which just approved its new boundaries for state and federal offices last month.
The most significant change will be a sliver of neighborhoods to the west of Methodist Encampment Road in Kerrville will move from Precinct 1 to Precinct 4. By population, Precinct 4 is the smallest in the county, but it's within an acceptable deviation allowed by state and federal law.