County Commissioner Proctor raises concerns about City limits and voting precincts

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 5:34 PM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Leon County Commissioner is raising concerns about what he says is “gerrymandering” by the City of Tallahassee.

Commissioner Bill Proctor says it’s not right that some residents on the Southside are City utility customers, but their properties don’t fall within City limits, and they are therefore unable to vote in City elections.

He calls the area the “Southside Eight;” it’s made up of eight voting precincts that are not within City limits.

Proctor says now is the right time to broach the issue, after the City Commission voted in February to resume utility disconnections with 60 days notice.

He says residents who will be most affected by the shut-offs don’t have the power to elect Commissioners who run their utilities.

“These are the habits which violate the spirit of the Voting Rights Act; these are the habits which I believe Congressman John Lewis would be inflamed by,” said Proctor. “And we are asking again, for the City Commission of Tallahassee to let the people vote.”

Proctor sent a letter to the City Commission, focusing on the fact that the eight precincts are within four miles of City Hall, writing “taxation without representation was and is wrong.”

The City’s annexation policy says it will primarily be pursued by voluntary petitions or referenda; the City and County’s Comprehensive Plan also says Leon County will support the City’s annexation efforts within the Urban Services Area.

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