D'Andrea is the GIS director for Logan County. When the city
realized it was facing redistricting because of a drop in
population, council members considered hiring a consultant to help
them with the project. However, D'Andrea said he could assist them
at a much lower cost than for a consultant, and it was agreed that
would be the best route for the city to take.
In preparing for the
reduction in city wards from five to four, several factors had to be
considered. The population of each ward has to be similar. D'Andrea
told the council that based on the city's total population, each
ward would have to fall inside a population range of 3,200 to 3,900.
Also, the wards have to work within precinct lines that already
exist in the city.
D'Andrea said that using the population numbers and the
precincts, he had developed a core of the ward, then added and took
away adjoining precincts until he reached the appropriate population
in each ward.
He ended up with five scenarios for redistricting, which then
went to a committee of city officials consisting of Mayor Keith
Snyder, Alderwomen Melody Anderson and Marty Neitzel, and the city
treasurer, Chuck Conzo.
Snyder said he took two of the five scenarios to Sally Litterly,
the county clerk, for her input. He said Litterly
examined the maps and concluded that as far as her office was
concerned for the purpose of holding elections, either one would
work. The committee then chose one, which was presented to the full
D'Andrea explained that when all was done, the wards broke down
to populations of 3,742 in the new Ward 1, 3,950 in the new Ward 2,
3,393 in Ward 3 and 3,571 in Ward 4.
Conzo said the committee had tried to design a new set of wards
with the least possible disruption to the current wards.
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Neitzel also talked about who the aldermen would be in each ward
with this change.
For Ward 1 the aldermen will be Melody Anderson and Buzz Busby.
Ward 2 will have Kathy Horn and David Wilmert. Ward 3 will be
represented by Jonie Tibbs and Tom O'Donohue, and Ward 4 aldermen will be Jeff
Hoinacki and Neitzel.
The two aldermen who are left out of the picture are David
Armbrust and Stacy Bacon. Neitzel said Snyder had polled the sitting
aldermen and found out who wanted to run for office in the next
election. Bacon and Armbrust will not be running.
In the upcoming election, all eight seats will be up for grabs.
Anyone who lives within the boundaries of the new wards can run for
Once the elections are held and aldermen are identified, their
terms will be set by lottery at a city council meeting. Four of the
aldermen will serve a two-year term and four will serve a four-year
term. This will be done to reset the rotation of four aldermen up
for election or re-election every two years.
The council is expected to vote next week to approve the map as
presented. An ordinance will need to be written defining the new
wards. All of this needs to be completed before the end of October,
but the new districts will not take effect until the next election.
[By NILA SMITH]
Past related articles
June 15, 2011 --
City redistricting would cut aldermen to 8
July 13, 2011 --
Water shut-offs, stop signs and more
Sept. 14, 2011 --
Prison closure, potential ward changes,
sewer problem and more
Sept. 16, 2011 --
County prepares to contest city
annexation, discuses raises for nonunion employees and more
Sept. 24, 2011 --
Board struggles with possible annexation
contest with city; approves nonunion pay raises, request for
public transportation funds, letter of support to keep prison
open and more
May 24, 2012 --
City discusses reducing wards from 5 to 4
Aug. 17, 2012 --
Spring election pushes city redistricting