City Wards to Meet Criteria

by Danielle Cotterman on September 27, 2011 at 3:09 am

Representatives from Muskingum University met with Zanesville City Council Monday evening to determine the necessary criteria in re-districting the city’s six wards.

In order to begin the re-drawing of the wards, the city’s population must be determined. At the last council meeting, they mistakenly said the city’s population was 4,000 more than what it actually is.

At Monday night’s meeting, Dr. Walter Huber corrected the mistake relating it to previous work they had done for the Zanesville Police Department where they accidentally used the patrol route map instead of the city map.

"We’re working on somewhat short notice. It was a snafu. It was entirely my fault," apologized Huber. "We have since corrected it and our map does match what the city actually is."

Huber presented council with 10 criteria that’s been a concern among other council members when re-districting wards. Council was asked to rank each on importance for the students to maintain when drawing the proposed maps.

"For example one of the criteria the council had was to attempt to keep the downtown in one ward; there are very good reasons for doing this, it’s one area of the city you want one person representing it," explained Huber, "But there is also criteria they they would want population growth, the future population growth taken into account,  and it may be possible to do both of these at once. If we can’t, we will present two options: one that meets criteria one, one that meets another criteria."

Among the criteria council requested: current boundaries serve as a basis for redistricting, wards near their target population remain unchanged, and council members homes are maintained in their current ward.

Huber anticipates within the month between three to five maps will be drawn and given to council for further review.

In other council news, $75,000 for the funding of Secrest Auditorium repairs was approved and a resolution was introduced to council proposing a tobacco free campus at Zanesville City Hall.