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Published Oct. 18, 2005

Dade City will decide Tuesday whether city commissioners will be elected in a way designed to encourage minority representation. If approved, the referendum would divide the city into three districts, one occupied primarily by black residents. The plan would require that seats 3, 4 and 5 on the commission be filled by people from each of the three districts.

Candidates for seats 1 and 2 still would be able to live anywhere in the city.

The proposal requires a change in the city charter but still would have voters citywide elect all five commissioners. The change would take effect for the April 1992 city elections.

As proposed, District 3 would be the area west of County Road 35A and north of Church Street, except the area west of the CR 35A truck route. District 4 would be the area west of CR 35A and south of Church Street.

District 5, the predominantly black district, would be bounded roughly by CR 35A to the east, Meridian Avenue to the south, 14th Street to the west and the city limit to the north.

The Pasco chapter of the NAACP proposed creating the district boundary lines. Chapter president Sherman Milton, a member of the city elections committee, has said the proposal shows the committee is "moving in the right direction."

A potential problem, however, is that two incumbents, Mayor Pat Weaver and Fred Johnson, both live in the proposed District 3. Both will come up for re-election in 1992.

Carl Littlefield and Scott Black, the two most recently elected commissioners, represent Districts 1 and 2 and would not be affected by the boundaries.

The most recent black commissioner was D.

L. Williams, who was appointed in 1983 and served until 1988, the last two years as mayor.