City Council Begins Talks of Re-Districting City’s Wards

by Mark Bullion on September 12, 2011 at 9:56 am

Muskingum University presented its plans to re-district the lines of Zanesville’s six wards Monday evening to City Council.

Dr. Walter Huber, Director of Center for Regional Planning along with political science students say the lines would be re-drawn primarily based on a variety of geographical variables. But first, Zanesville’s official population needs to be addressed. Dr. Huber says the latest data indicates Zanesville’s population at just over 29,000 people, but not everyone on council agrees with that number.

"The total number of residents that the consultant is showing versus what have before and what the Census is showing in 2010 is a good bit different so we need to look into that and find out where we are as far as numbers are concerned," said Councilman Andy Roberts.

Roberts says if in fact the 29,000 number is correct, the City should look into conducting its own independent census and having it certified by the Federal Government.

"We could gain large amounts of grant funding over the next ten years based upon that number so that’s something we’ll look into once we find out where that 29,000 number came from," said Roberts.

The city currently reports the population at around 25,500.

Council has until around December 31st to vote to re-draw lines of the wards; however, Roberts doesn’t think many changes will happen.

In other council news, council, in its first reading, passed an ordinance allowing the City to upgrade the Police Department’s computerized records system.