Council studies redistricting plan

Plan 1 of redistricting: Red circle shows area taken from District E and given to District D. Blue circle shows area taken from District B and given to District C. Green circle shows area taken from District D and given to District B. District A remains untouched. The white areas are unincorporated areas inside the city limits. These changes bring the city into compliance.

By Bonnie Culverhouse

The 2020 census shows population in the Minden City limits has decreased, which means the city council must now approve changes to their district lines in order to be in compliance.

“In 2010, total population was 13,082,” said Doug Mitchell, executive director of North Delta Regional Planning and Development District, Inc. “The plan in 2010 had a 9.2 percent deviation.”

In a redistricting workshop with the council Friday, Mitchell said in 2020, total population was 11,928, a 26.15 deviation, with B and D that are “highest out of deviation.”

Deviation is one of the most important things in redistricting.

“You want to be 10 percent or less,” Mitchell said.

Districts A, B and C lost population, however, lines in District A are untouched under the plan discussed by the council Friday.

“It is at 9.64 deviation, which is very acceptable,” Mitchell said.

District A councilman Wayne Edwards seemed content with his numbers but said he is concerned about the census count.

“I have very strong suspicions this is not representative of our population,” Edwards said.

With only District B councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker absent, the other four approved a minimal amount of shifting in their areas.

Mitchell said the clock is ticking.

“Qualifying (for fall elections) is July 26,” he said. “We have to send the new redistricting packet to the Secretary of State for review. They can take up to 60 days. We also have to send it to the Registrar of Voters and Webster Parish Clerk of Court.”

If the city misses that deadline to submit the packet, or if for some reason it is not approved by the deadline, the November election for city council members cannot take place. It does not, however, affect the mayoral race.

District D councilman Michael Roy looks at a photo of the current map, before redistricting.

To report an issue or typo with this articleCLICK HERE