Tuesday, August 23, 2011

WARD REAPPORTIONMENT PLAN F: Most controversial yet?

Ward reapportionment Plan F
Active, liberal neighborhoods again consolidated, but this time with more-conservative Grasslands
 
COLUMBIA, 8/23/11  (Beat Byte) --  Both liberal AND conservative, mostly-white neighborhoods would join the First Ward under reapportionment "Trial F" or Plan F (click picture at left), which may prove the city's most controversial yet.  

The plan also landlocks the Sixth Ward and several presently Fifth Ward neighborhoods, while turning the Fifth Ward into a mostly-suburban voting district that extends far east.   
 
Again consolidating politically-active neighborhoods from three wards into one ward, Plan F adds the Old Southwest, Park Hill, Grasslands, Quarry Heights, Green Meadows, Miles Manor, and Westmount neighborhoods to the First Ward -- a conservative-liberal mix that creates a diverse group indeed.
 
But because single-Ward diversity doesn't translate into votes on the City Council, Plan F may be little more than a southerly version of Plan D.   It consolidates several politically-liberal neighborhoods into one Ward from two, the primary arguments against Plan A and D. 
 
And it may raise voting rights issues again.  Although Miles Manor has been a traditionally black neighborhood, Plan F may overwhelm the First Ward with politically-active, white voters, a criticism not as readily applied to less-active precincts. 
 
Finally, Plan F removes a prosperous, growing suburban boundary from the Sixth Ward, placing neighborhoods such as Bluff Creek into the Fifth Ward.  
 
The City of Columbia's official Ward Reapportionment Committee will meet Tuesday, August 23, 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm in the Mezzanine Conference Room at City Hall downtown.  Click here for the Agenda.
 
 
Plan F superimposed over neighborhood maps
(Caution:  Long download time).

6 comments:

  1. Plan F would turn Columbia's relatively rational and competitive political situation into St. Louis, where suburbs are pitted against the city core. That is not what Columbia needs.

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  2. If white neighborhoods don't want the stigma of being part of our first ward then let them annex everything north of Smiley into it.
    Then they can really protect their residential property values and influential representation with the city council.
    Then again, if they really cared about ALL of Columbia it would be much better if those community leaders, (splashing around with their White Man's Burden antics), actually cultivate some real civic involvement of our black citizenry than use ward boundary lines as political fodder towards their own power and influence agendas.
    Being landlocked isn't the problem. Being close-minded is.

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  3. The second commenter just doesn't get it. Combine a large group of older, liberal neighborhoods into one ward and you will greatly reduce representation on local issues important to minorities and people who live in older neighborhoods. Keeping those neighborhoods spread across several wards therefore does more to help the First Ward. I do agree, though, that community leaders should do more to foster black civic involvement, which is sadly lacking all over town.

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  4. What we need is a city divided by quadrants using an axis like Providence North to South and Broadway/Scott or I-70 East to West so that there's no issue of first ward representation at all.
    Old and new, black and white would then be able to find their own socio/economic/political subdivisions and we'd have less city council members.
    Then we could cultivate commissions, boards and townhall meetings to be more representative, across the board. As we now seem to have it, few residents participate in local voting and there's jockeying by PHD liberals or Chamber of Commerce reps running our city. The common man has no chance in this town.

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  5. Why not just do the Wards the same as the police have their patrol districts set up. Oh wait that makes to much sense on proper representation on all fronts,ideas and demographics and we all know Columbia just cannot have all of those things or there would be nothing to gripe about would there? It is all about political power and control.

    John Schultz and myself have a great open debate going on about this on the ColumbiaCitizens Yahoo! Listserv.
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ColumbiaCitizens/message/2342

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  6. No decision on how "we" divide up the city should be made by the worries of residents of any "older neighborhood." How council reps vote should be based on discussions with their constituents, (not just their own "favorites"), input from city commissions and boards, civic groups, neighborhood associations, businesses, etc. There should be no turf wars in this discussion as it makes you all look very provincial.
    Four wards and a councilman at large would be most fair, in my opinion.
    Hopefully the final decision will be made as to what would be best for the entire city of Columbia. With all the plans the committee is coming up with, maybe it's time to hire an independent, unbiased consultant instead of this political struggle with racial overtones.

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