Population growth in Hernando changes political landscape - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Chip Washington

Population growth in Hernando changes political landscape

HERNANDO, MS (WMC-TV) - The city of Hernando is growing, and it's changing the political landscape of the area.  The north Mississippi community's population growth will be reflected in the town's upcoming election, when its Board of Aldermen will grow from four to six, and will also add one at-large seat.

"So if you have seven alderman instead of five, it's understandable that you're gonna have more alderman per person," Hernando Mayor Chip Johnson said. "It will put the elected officials closer to the public."

The move was made in advance of the next census by the Justice Department which mandates that cities with over 10,000 people need to redistrict in order to have additional representation. 

Deputy Planning Director Shelly Johnstone, who designed the new wards, said there were several factors involved in the planning.

"We're around fourteen to fifteen thousand in population, and that's more than double the growth from 2000, so we're certainly aware of that growth, and also that we had done some annexing, and have added people through annexation," she said.

As a first term mayor, Johnson is proud of the growth the city has experienced in such a short period of time.
"We're doing things to make it more livable for the people that are here," he said. "Other people from outside look in and see that, and decide this is where they want to be. So it's just growing because of the good things happening here."

As of Monday afternoon, one candidate in each new ward has filed to run for a new seat.  Filing will continue through March 6, with primary elections to be held on May 5th.  The general election is scheduled for June 2.

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