Benchmark plan under way for city redistricting

By Staff
Thomas Tingle
Record Managing Editor
How will Madison's current population affect the plans now under way to redistrict the city?
Madison City Attorney Anne-Marie Lacy and Community Development Department Director Bob Atallo said officials with Mississippi based Bridge and Slaughter, the company hired by the city council to help in the redistricting efforts, are developing a benchmark plan that will reflect what the city's districts are now after the 2000 Census. Atallo said included in the plan is the population of Madison as of today and not just the 2000 Census figure.
According to Lacy, Bridge and Slaughter has recommended a public hearing be held to inform the public on what the effect the census was and how the boundary lines affect the city today.
Atallo said a variety of maps showing the current city limits, a list of potential polling places in the city, a map dividing the city into subdivisions, and a map of the existing districts were requested. Physical space in each polling place was also requested by Bridge and Slaughter.
According to Atallo, a benchmark plan is essentially a district map with a population and racial composition of each district, as it exists today. He said Bridge and Slaughter will use the Census figures to actually redistrict the city and the benchmark plan will start with the Census figures of 2000 and the city limits as they are today.
City Clerk Treasurer Allison Akins said the final redistricting plan should be in place and approved by the Department of Justice no later than six months prior to a municipal election.

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