State official: BOC size still needs to grow

LAWRENCEVILLE -- With people still crying foul over a recent tax increase, a state legislator is taking back up a proposal to increase representation on the Board of Commissioners.

Rep. Hugh Floyd, D-Norcross, said he is receiving more support for his idea to add two more districts to the county, bringing the total to six district commissioners in addition to the county chairman.

"I think it has a lot to do with the conflict with the county commission, and the need to have commissioners to be representative of the people," Floyd said of the support.

In 2007, a similar proposal stalled, in Floyd's opinion, because the GOP-dominated legislative delegation did not want to create an in-roads for a Democrat to join the commission.

As the county's diversity has continued to increase, Floyd said that likelihood is already there, but in a county of more than 800,000 people, one representative for nearly a quarter of a million people is not enough.

"It's not meant to do anything but to make a better Gwinnett," he said.

Intending to file the legislation Monday, Floyd said he did not have a map representing how the county would be divided, but he noted that the lines would likely be redrawn in a year or two once the 2010 Census is complete.

Floyd is also drafting a bill to make county school board elections nonpartisan.

He pointed out that most education board members are nonpartisan in other parts of the state and said party politics should not weigh on voters' minds.