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Jefferson City wants public input about proposed ward redistricting plan

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMIZ)

Jefferson City held an open house Thursday for citizens to provide input about the proposed options for ward redistricting.

Jefferson City has four redistricting options to choose from, with each prioritizing different considerations and varying in population shift.

Every 10 years, Jefferson City receives its census numbers. The results for 2020 show the wards have grown over the past 10 years and will continue to do so, which means the city will have to choose from the following four options:

• Option 1 – Moderate population shift; prioritizes correcting current neighborhood splits
• Option 2 – Minimal population shift; prioritizes minimal boundary changes
• Option 3 – Maximizes the population shift from Ward 4 to plan for likely future growth
• Option 4 – Maximizes the population shift from Ward 4 while equalizing other wards

Out of the four different options for accomplishing redistricting, the council prefers option one.

Eric Barron, the planning manager for the city, says the redistricting of the wards is a big deal for Jefferson City residents.

"It can affect who the elected representative is, it can affect where they vote and affect their options for voting in the upcoming municipal election," Barron says.

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin said the council chose option one because the fourth ward showed the most growth.

"Option one, the fourth ward which is the southwest part of Jefferson City, is growing the largest. It had the most population growth, and so we would shift part of ward four and ward five there would be a little bit of shift as well," Tergin said.

Shifting the fourth ward would accommodate residential growth.

"You know the fourth ward; there's a lot of residential growth in the south/southwest of Jefferson City. Also, for future growth, we want to accommodate that," Tergin said. 

All four options are available to view on the city's website, with information on population shifts and goals set out by each option.

On Sep. 20, the Jefferson City Council chose option one as the preferred option pending a public hearing scheduled for the council on Oct. 18.

In option one, wards one, two, and five would gain in population. Based on this option, ward four would decrease in size and ward three would see no change.

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Leila Mitchell

Leila is a Penn State graduate who started with KMIZ in March 2021. She studied journalism and criminal justice in college.

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