Currently the City Council is made up of seven single-member districts, and on March 28, City Council approved a resolution adopting criteria for use in redistricting.
The process will utilize census data to redraw the boundaries, which in 2020 had the city at a population 32,276. This population divided between the four single-member districts would put approximately 8,000 people in each district.
However, council members expressed concern with that number due to the increased growth of the city.
Council Member Dick Hetzel said that the city limit signs are showing a population of around 35,000, which is higher than the projected numbers in the census.
“We are well past the 8,000 for the four districts,” Hetzel said.
Gunnar Seaquist, partner at Bickerstaff Heath Delgado Acosta LLP, said the redistricting is limited to the 2020 data, and the city is likely to see imbalance by the time of the 2020 census.
“Ultimately, by the time the next census rolls around, you will be out of balance for sure,” Seaquist said.
With the approval of the resolution, a timeline will be put into place for the redrawing of the districts and opportunities for community feedback.
The first at-large district is set to be put on the ballot in the November 2024 election, and the remaining at-large districts will be put on the ballot in November 2025.