Fayette County residents implored county officials Thursday night to abandon their ongoing fight over the county’s new voting system, calling it a costly waste of time. “I strongly urge the new commission… take another look at what’s going on with district voting,” said Terrence Williams, who lives in District 5, the mostly minority district created under the court-ordered district plan. “Take a deeper look and spend our money wisely. There’s other things we need to spend our money on.” “Don’t – I beg you – don’t step back,” resident Larry Younginer said. “I subscribe to the theory that change is difficult but change is necessary. Change is going to happen whether you like it or not.”
Thursday’s commission meeting came a day after a federal appeals court in Atlanta sent the Fayette case back to the lower court for a possible trial. At issue: Fayette officials’ quest to regain at-large voting system – an election process, NAACP and other opponents said systematically kept blacks from serving on the commission and school board. A district court judge agree and ordered the county to adopt a district voting plan.
Commissioner Steve Brown told those in attendance that the lawsuit was “never about Commissioner Coston. I hold her in high esteem. We’re so glad to have her.”
Nonetheless, Rep. Virgil Fludd called the three-and-a-half year voting rights fight “a bone of contention.” “It’s been quite divisive,” Fludd, a Tyrone resident, told commissioners.”It would make sense for us to pause where we are right now. The results of the November election point to the fact we have a great team of commissioners.”