Commissioners outline importance of Census

Published 11:02 pm Saturday, June 20, 2009

It happens every 10 years and affects the apportionment of the U.S. House of Representatives as well as the allotment of millions and millions of federal dollars.

One Lawrence County Commissioner wants to make sure area residents take the 2010 U.S. census seriously when census workers visit.

Commissioner Les Boggs said Thursday he wants to create a county-wide census committee whose job it will be to publicize and promote the census in hopes that people will better understand what it is and how important it is.

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In this Boggs has a point: In the 2000 census Ohio’s statewide response rate was 72 percent, but the village of Proctorville’s response rate was only 55 percent, Chesapeake’s was 57 percent.

The typical response rate for areas of Lawrence County was in the low 60s. Only Aid and Rome townships was 70 percent or better.

“Three hundred billion dollars goes to places based on the census,” Boggs said. “And Congressional representation. So we want an accurate count.”

Boggs said if the other commissioners approve his idea he would like to have the committee formed by September.

“It would consist of pastors, the media, obviously, people from Jobs and Family Services, the local fire department,” Boggs said.

Those who want to volunteer may contact him at the commission office at 533-4300.