July 23, 2016

Partly sunny

U.S. Census forces redistricting of ward lines in Brunswick

BRUNSWICK — Census results from 2010 are spurring City Council to redraw ward lines.

The census shows the city’s total population at 34,250 with 730 more residents in Ward 4 than in Ward 3.

Lisa Zamiska

Lisa Zamiska

Ward 2 Councilman Vince Carl said the city’s charter requires a roughly even number of residents in each ward, prompting a redistricting in wards 3, with 8,176 residents and 4, with 8,906 residents.

Carl said the plan is to redraw the ward boundaries to take 365 residents from Ward 4, which includes the most western parts of the city, and put them in Ward 3.

Ward 3 Councilman Joe Delsanter said the affected areas would include The Timbers development and Stony Creek Drive.

“Ward 3 really saw the largest portion of development 30 years ago,” Delsanter said. “Much of the (current) development is occurring in the outer rings of the city.”

The change would not take effect until the next election year, so ward races in November will remain the same. However, voters in the affected areas will be voting in one ward in November and represented by a different Council member next year.

Ward 4 Councilwoman Lisa Zamiska said redrawing the lines is the fairest thing to do, but it can have its drawbacks.

“You start to create these relationships with people, and then they leave your ward,” Zamiska said. “That’s kind of disappointing.”

Carl said the city engineer has drawn up new maps for the wards, but the legal work has not been done to move the plan forward. The next step will be to make sure Council has a consensus on which residences will change wards, he said.

“No one seems to have any objections,” Carl said, adding Council has until mid-September to pass legislation approving the plan.

Council also will have to submit the plan to the Medina County Board of Elections so it can take effect before the next election year, Carl said.

Contact Jennifer Pignolet at (330) 721-4063 or jpignolet@medina-gazette.com.