Article by LaDarius Carter
“What district do I live in?” That is one of the most common questions that I get as a City Commissioner, especially during campaign season. Many are confused about where the lines are drawn that separate the areas represented by different Commissioners. Admittedly, the way that the lines in Marshall are drawn can be confusing. In this article, I’d like to break down the districts in hopes that everyone can gain a better understanding of who your elected representatives are.
The first, and likely most confusing, thing that you should know is that each person in the City of Marshall lives in two Commission districts. There are seven districts. During odd-numbered year elections, Districts 1, 2, 3, and 4 representatives are elected. During even-numbered year elections, Districts 5, 6, and 7 representatives are elected. While I am out visiting with constituents, I often hear “well, I thought that you were my Commissioner but last year I voted in the election for Commissioner (insert name here).” This is true because you vote for someone different each year. Below are the current Commissioners for each City district.
District 1 – Vernia Calhoun
District 2 – Michael Mitchell
District 3 – Eric Neal
District 4 – LaDarius Carter (that’s me)
District 5 – Gloria Moon
District 6 – Larry Hurta
District 7 – Doug Lewis.
During the last odd year election, Eric Neal was elected District 3 Commissioner and last year during the even year election, Doug Lewis was elected District 7 Commissioner. So if you live in Duncan Addition both Eric Neal and Doug Lewis are your Commissioners. If you live near Airport Park, Doug Lewis (D-7) is your Commissioner but so am I. Although I am the District 4 Commissioner, based on the location of my home, Larry Hurta (D-6) is also my Commissioner. What makes it interesting is that Commissioners often live in the same neighborhood or even on the same street as another Commissioner.
While these boundaries and election rules are confusing, this odd strange system serves a vitally important purpose. The boundaries are drawn in this way to ensure that each citizen in Marshall has fair and equal representation. In the case that one of your Commissioners is out of office or unable to carry out their duties, you would still have representation on the City Commission. This exact situation occurred just three years ago. Zephaniah Timmins who served as District 2 Commissioner was elected to the County Commission during the first year of his two-year term on the City Commission, which caused the City District 2 seat to be vacant. Fortunately, all residents of District 2 had another Commissioner who they had elected because of the interesting system that Marshall has adopted.
As confusing as this system can be, the most important thing to remember is that all Commissioners are responsible for the overall function of the City and the delivery of city services. Therefore, each Commissioner serves each and every resident of Marshall. It is important that you know who your representatives are, so that you can hold us accountable and so that you can make informed decisions when you step into a voting location. Piney Woods News has attached a copy of the district maps to this article to help you to navigate the confusion. If you have further questions about which district you live in, check the map, call a Commissioner or contact City Hall.City Of Marshall Election Dist 1 thru 4 11x17(1)
City Of Marshall Election Dist 5 thru 7 11x17(1)