Wednesday, September 7, 2011


The challenges and the controversies in re-jiggering City Council representation

Since July, the Columbia Heart Beat has been covering Ward reapportionment -- adjusting the sizes and boundaries of Columbia's six City Council Wards to reflect changes in the 2010 Census. 
The articles below also contain links to plans, maps, agendas, minutes, and other news stories.  Plans A, B, D, E, and F will be discussed at Wednesday night's meeting.   In brief, Plan E (pictured, left) seems to be the popular favorite; plan B is a distant second; plans A, D, and F panned for various reasons.  
Wednesday, September 7  -- 7 pm
Columbia City Council Chambers
701 East Broadway
MORE COUNCIL MUSCLE:  Central Columbia neighborhoods need more Council votes, not less
Why Ward reapportionment plans should not consolidate central city neighborhoods
BEMUSED BY THE BROUHAHA:  Ward Reapportionment leader chats on committee role 
A former Mayor's frank observations and counter-intuitive sensibilities
FORMER MATT BLUNT AIDE:  Removing progressive votes from Columbia Wards?
Rob Monsees -- former Governor Blunt's man on MOHELA -- champions Ward reapportionment Plan D 
WARD GERRYMANDER?   Reapportionment committee member disputes former Blunt chief plan
Popular former school board president worries Rob Monsees' Plan D could inhibit voting rights
4TH WARD NEIGHBORHOOD GROUPS:  Speak against Ward reapportionment plan
Three Old Southwest neighborhood associations join rising chorus opposing so-called "gerrymander plans"  
FIRST SENSIBLE PLAN?  Columbia citizens create new Ward Reapportionment map
"Go West" First Ward, a new map suggests
HAMMERED HOME!   Ward Reapportionment official reiterates voting rights, gerrymandering concerns
Powerfully-worded letter warns Committee members about minority voting rights
NEW WARD MAPS:  Plans E and F emerge from official Ward Reapportionment Committee
New plans take population from Second, Fourth, and Fifth Wards
WARD REAPPORTIONMENT PLAN F:  Most controversial yet? 
Active, liberal neighborhoods again consolidated, but this time with more-conservative Grasslands


  1. Seems to me that Columbia has outgrown the first ward.
    Perhaps it would be simpler to divide up this "poorly treated/oh so ignored" ward and just retain the special business district/downtown for the mayor to act as a liaison with.
    Phasing out the first ward seat and having the residents of the current first ward become part of existing wards would then allow everyone to be represented equally.
    A smaller council would allow for better streamlined business and hopefully the council reps will cultivate voter activity in the remaining wards via more local ward meetings, combined neighborhood association meetings and better interaction of city commission chairs with each other and with council reps.
    Just a thought.
    Eliminate the first ward and we eliminate the "uniqueness" of this provincial ward in a growing city, yet retain the essence of downtown.
    This also eliminates all the racial and political overtones being thrown out during this process.
    Otherwise, hire an unbiased consultant for the best way to manage this city's ward division.

  2. @Anon: Actually. the "Citizens Plan" basically does what you're calling for here, not by eliminating the First Ward, but by making it no different than any other Ward. It becomes the same size; has a growing, open boundary; is no longer landlocked; and takes in more than just the central city. It's not based on race or focused on poverty, either. Hopefully, the city council will put the Citizens Plan back into consideration.