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City council to eye redistricting Wednesday


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Proposed new boundaries: The Greenfield City Council Wednesday will discuss new city district lines, which determine the geographic area residents are represented by various council members. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in city hall. 
Representatives on the city council: District 1, Gary McDaniel; District 2, Mitch Pendlum; District 3, John Patton; District 4, Jason Horning; District 5, Kerry Grass. Council members Greg Carwein and Judy Grass are at-large members. No current council members would be displaced with the new boundary lines. (graphic: Brian Davis/Daily Reporter)
Proposed new boundaries: The Greenfield City Council Wednesday will discuss new city district lines, which determine the geographic area residents are represented by various council members. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in city hall. Representatives on the city council: District 1, Gary McDaniel; District 2, Mitch Pendlum; District 3, John Patton; District 4, Jason Horning; District 5, Kerry Grass. Council members Greg Carwein and Judy Grass are at-large members. No current council members would be displaced with the new boundary lines. (graphic: Brian Davis/Daily Reporter)


GREENFIELD — The lines dividing Greenfield into five city council districts could be shifted soon, switching for thousands of residents the council member who represents them.

The Greenfield City Council Wednesday will discuss redistricting, a process done every 10 years based on census data.

The council has seven members. Five represent geographic areas of the city, and two are elected at-large.

Because of Greenfield’s growth, the districts became lopsided: The First District, on the city’s east side, grew to have too many residents; the Fourth District, on the west side, has too few.

Proposed new lines would mean roughly 4,000 residents for each of the five districts.

While district boundaries would remain in the same general area, more than 3,900 residents – about 20 percent of the city – will be in a new council districts.

The next city election is in 2015.

The map was proposed to the city council in July and is now before the members in the form of an ordinance. Local officials say they’ve heard no feedback from the general public on the map.

The new boundaries will affect the ballot, and they’ll also influence who people call if they have an issue with the city. But the new district lines will not affect where people go to vote. In fact, county officials are still considering a switch to vote centers in 2014, which will mean several large locations for people to cast their ballots as opposed to small neighborhood polling locations.

The proposed change does not displace current councilmen from their districts; each of the five district councilors live in the same district as they would if the new map is adopted.

A committee met twice over the summer to go over new district lines. Council President Mitch Pendlum said nobody from the general public came to those meetings.

Mayor Dick Pasco said he, too, hasn’t heard any questions or comments from the public on redistricting. Pasco said that’s common; When he was a councilman and worked on redrawing maps 10 years ago, there was little feedback.

“It’s never very controversial; you just kind of move the line a little,” Pasco said. “You would hope people would (care). I also recognize there’s a percentage of people that have absolutely no concern or interest in it. But I think people should pay closer attention to what the city council is doing in general.”

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