By Bonnie Culverhouse
With a minimal amount of work, the Minden City Council voted unanimously Monday to accept a new map reapportioning city districts.
District B Councilwoman Terika Williams-Walker was the only councilperson absent from the special meeting.
“The City of Minden lost 1,154 people from the 2010 census to 2020,” Doug Mitchell, executive director of North Delta Regional Planning and Development District Inc., said during the public hearing portion of Monday’s meeting. “When we overlaid the maps, we found District C was at 11.69 percent deviation and District E was 14.45 percent deviation. You add those two together and you get your total deviation overall.”
Mitchell said it is legal to be 10 percent or less in deviation. Changes made to the districts brought it to 9.63 percent.
“There were some minor tweaks between the districts. We moved 101 total people from District B into District C, and we moved a total of 92 people from District D into District C,” Mitchell said. “We moved 231 people from District D into B, and with District D into District E, we moved 221 total people. There was no change to District A.”
Mitchell said the 9.63 percent that resulted from the moves satisfied the racial break down representative of the city.
District C councilman Vincen Bradford questioned the dividing line on Brenda Circle, Azalea Street and Methodist Camp Road to Caney Lake.
“We had a dividing line there at one time, where I just had one side of the street,” Bradford said. “District D had the other side.”
Mitchell, with help from a former map, convinced Bradford the line had not changed.
Councilwoman Williams-Walker was also the only councilperson absent during a workshop to discuss district lines with Mitchell in January. During that workshop, Mitchell impressed that time is important.
“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.”
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