LIVINGSTON — After four months and a lawsuit, the Livingston Parish Council unanimously approved a revised redistricting plan at a special meeting Monday night.
The plan — known as “Plan 3A” — keeps the nine districts within 5 percent of the ideal population, in contrast to the first plan the council approved, which had wide disparities in district populations.
In choosing plan 3A, the council rejected an amended version of a plan unveiled Monday night.
Plan 3A divides the parish in ways similar to the first plan presented to the council by consultant Nancy Jensen.
The council rejected that plan and adopted one with one district having more than 17,000 residents and another with less than 12,000.
Livingston Parish resident Bob Morgan challenged that plan in federal court, alleging it violated the “one-man, one-vote” provision of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
The adoption of 3A ends any need for the lawsuit, Morgan said Monday.
“The purpose of the lawsuit has been accomplished,” he said. “If they had adopted the first plan, then none of this would have happened.”
Under the new plan, the largest district — District 3 — would have 14,762 residents; and the smallest — District 8 — would have 13,587.
Jensen said she will begin the process Tuesday morning for submitting the new plan to the U.S. Department of Justice for approval.
The deadline for submission is Aug. 29, she said.
Several members of the public questioned the council’s process in choosing the plan.
“I can’t understand why you should spend the money (to hire a consultant) and then pick it to pieces,” said Denham Springs resident Robert Smiley.
Before the meeting, Smiley and Doug Lovett stood in the council chambers parking lot, holding a sign reading “One Man, One Vote.”
“We want it done by law,” Lovett said before the meeting. “Just be fair.”
Lovett told the council the meetings should be held later in the evening to give more residents an opportunity to attend.