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Reshaping the wards

September 15, 2012
By JO ANN BOBBY-GILBERT - Staff Writer ( , Morning Journal News

EAST LIVERPOOL - Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell has asked officials for their input in helping to redistrict the four wards that compose the city.

Estell said it actually falls to City Council to redistrict the city after the release of census results but, failing to do so, the responsibility falls to the director of public safety.

Although companies can be hired to do the job, the last estimate obtained was for between $5,000 and $10,000, so Estell has taken it upon himself after it recently was brought to his attention and realizing the deadline had passed for council to make the decisions.

Nonetheless, Estell told council at its recent meeting that all input is welcome.

"We know the city pretty well at this point. I would look at common sense areas to set the lines," he said.

Redistricting essentially means re-establishing boundaries for each of the wards to even them out for voting purposes.

Currently, the 1st Ward is significantly larger in population than the other three, while the 4th Ward is the smallest, Estell said, saying he will probably look at moving some of the 3rd Ward into the 4th and moving a portion of the 1st into the 2nd and 3rd wards.

"It could change who their representative is, but (the redistricting) won't go into effect until after the next election," he said.

And, although no voters currently live there, the recently acquired Riverview Florist property will have to be included in a city ward with this redistricting, Estell explained.

The county Board of Elections will be notified of the new boundaries and would then change polling places, notifying voters of the changes, according to Estell.

He emphasized the redistricting will likely be publicized throughout the process.



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