CROWN POINT | City officials plan to redraw City Council district lines to balance size and population.
"The mandate is to even population numbers across the districts," City Council President Andrew Kyres said. "We have to make it a little more even for all the council people."
The out-sized 1st District on the city's east side currently dwarfs other districts, after taking in land mass from an earlier annexation and population from a spurt of new housing in the past decade.
The 1st District's population is just less than 8,700, compared with the 4th District's population of more than 4,400, said Mark Schweitzer, an at-large city councilman and member of the council's redistricting committee.
The three-member committee, including Bill Feder, another at-large councilman, and 1st District Councilman Chad Jeffries, will present a proposed redistricting plan at a public meeting Aug. 15.
The goal is to have about 5,300 to 5,500 people in each of Districts 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, Schweitzer said. The at-large council seats represent the city as a whole.
Lines would be redrawn to distribute population to the 1st District at the low end, or about 5,300, with an eye to the potential in that area for continued growth from new housing, Schweitzer said.
The ideal is to have the size of all districts within 10 percent of one another, he said.
The committee will seek permission from the city's Republican and Democratic precinct organizations for redrawing voting precinct lines to mirror the borders of the proposed new district map, Schweitzer said.
Party politics did not play a role in the proposed remapping, Schweitzer said.
"We went into this totally, 100 percent, from a nonpolitical standpoint," Schweitzer said.
The redistricting committee's Aug. 15 meeting is at 7 p.m. in City Hall, 101 N. East St.