When Florida legislators set about the task of redrawing state and federal districts to reflect population ins and outs chronicled in the 2010 Census, they promised to minimize awkward carving and keep traditional neighbors together.
They assured citizens who showed up for public hearings in Southwest Florida and across the state that this would be the top priority.
When public speakers would stand to stress the importance of that, lawmakers would nod in agreement and promise yet again that the days of horror-story gerrymandering are over.
Yet, tell that to the Estero area.
Civic leaders and others in south Lee County are rightfully in an uproar about plans for Florida House seats tearing neighborhoods apart instead of bringing or keeping them together. Estero constituents fear a dilution of the political clout.
Though new to Estero, these points are far from new everywhere. Collier County knows all about being sliced and diced for U.S. House purposes, and Lee has been vulnerable to other Florida Legislature jigsaw puzzles.
Disappointment is more heart-felt now because voters were assured of something better, for a change.
Voters took lawmakers at their word when attendance and input was courted at public hearings.
Until these maps are formalized and set in stone, lawmakers have time to do the right thing and keep their word.
The process is complicated and mysterious only if lawmakers want it to be.