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Commission proposes new magisterial district boundaries

April 26, 2007|by TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. - Magisterial Districts 2 and 3 might have new boundaries in time for the next election, Morgan County Commission President Glen R. Stotler said at last Friday's meeting.

About two years ago, Commissioner Thomas R. Swaim, who represents Magisterial District 3, built his new house 200 yards outside of his district, which unknowingly put him in Magisterial District 2, where Stotler lives, Stotler said.

"I was not aware I was moving into District 2," Swaim said.

Swaim said even though he will not run for re-election, and the Morgan County attorney said he had not violated any law because at the time of his election in 2004, he was living in his district, "I think it will put a cloud over the next election, and it is in the best interest of Morgan County to fix it."

Stotler said a similar situation occurred in Berkeley County and the West Virginia Supreme Court had to decide, and it cost a lot of money to fix it.

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Stotler and Swaim were ready to go forward with a proposal to redistrict Swaim into District 3, but Commissioner Brenda J. Hutchinson said "this is news to me, and I need to process it."

The proposal will be discussed at the next meeting on May 4 at 11:30 a.m. A public hearing will be scheduled at that meeting, Stotler said.

Hutchinson lives in and represents Magisterial District 1.

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