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Treasure Island looks for balance at polls

(ran Beach edition)

District 4, which includes Sunrise and Sunset beaches, has more voters than Districts 2 or 3.

With maps, charts and markers in hand, a committee of residents on Thursday began the task of balancing the city's four voting districts.

The committee's charge, according to City Attorney James Denhardt, is to get the districts within 2 or 3 percentage points of each other.

District 4, which includes Sunrise and Sunset beaches and most of the city's business, has 29 percent of Treasure Island's 5,818 registered voters _ about 4 percent more voters than District 1 and 6 percent more than District 2 or 3.

"We want the numbers as equal as possible," Denhardt said.

The City Commission appointed the committee's nine members in June.

At the first meeting on July 22, the members chose Sunset Beach Civic Association president Jim DiBona and Isle of Palms resident Kathy McCreary as co-chairmen.

The committee is expected to make a recommendation to the City Commission by the end of October.

"I think the real challenge may be to predict growth in the districts," DiBona said.

DiBona and McCreary suggested that the committee attempt to balance the numbers by giving each district a piece of the beach and business areas.

"I feel we need to blend together," McCreary said. "The businesses are important to the area, and we can't survive without them."

Other committee members voiced some concerns about keeping neighborhoods intact and combining residential and commercial areas.

"I don't want to jeopardize the neighborhoods," Nancy Frederich said. "I don't think average residents feel any ties to commercial areas."

The committee's next meeting is 7 p.m. Aug. 25 at City Hall, 120 108th Ave. The public is invited.