Former Midway mayor and current Mayor Pro Tempore Dr. Clemontine Washington will lead Midway’s work on the 2020 U.S. Census. Washington accepted the responsibility at the council’s Aug. 12 meeting.
Washington emphasized, “the importance of each and every resident being included in the census count.” She said community awareness was the key to getting a complete count and she would be working with county census chief Krystal Hart and others, including volunteers.
The council adopted a resolution on the importance of the census and participation by citizens, officials, the Complete Census Committee and others. A census is required every 10 years by the U.S. Constitution and is used to determine how seats in the U.S. House of Representatives are shared among the states.
Each sitting member of Congress now represents about 709,760 people according to the 2010 census. The formula gives Georgia 12 Representatives. The number of Representatives added to each state’s two Senators equals the number of votes each state has in the Electoral College that chooses the President; Georgia has 14.
In the early years of the republic the number of Representatives was increased as the census count increased, but in 1929 Congress capped the House membership at 436.
Census data is now used for many other purposes beyond Congressional apportionment. Federal and state funding for things like educational programs, healthcare, law enforcement and highways is allocated in part based on the population shown in the census.
Census records are held under strict confidentiality; the Supreme Court has held that they are not subject to discovery in litigation and are not subject to the federal Freedom of Information Act. In 1980 FBI agents executed a warrant at the Colorado Springs Census District Office and removed boxes of census forms. Executives of the FBI and Census quickly realized that this was improper, and the boxes were returned with their original seals unbroken.
In other business the council approved a license and a sign permit for the Mr. Clean Car Wash on Butler Avenue.
A license was approved for the Magnolia Manor nursing home doing business as Woodlands Health Care which has plans for renovations. The nursing home application passed in an unusual 3-1 split vote with Washington voting no. Councilmembers Melice Gerace, Henry Stevens Jr. and T. Gerald Lee voted yes.
The license for the new Burger King at Islands Highway and I-95 was granted. The restaurant is expected to open soon.
Construction of Midway’s new city hall and multicomplex building was reported going smoothly with completion possible by mid-November.
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