Population growth causes redistricting

By Julie Listek

The 1990 census, showing a population increase of almost 2,000 people since 1980, will result in the remapping of DeKalb’s boundaries.

Presently the population of DeKalb is 34,925, a rise from 33,157 in 1980.

The student wards should be kept without change, the remapping should only change the boundaries of these wards, 1st Ward Ald. Amy Polzin said.

The first, second, sixth and seventh wards should be the only wards affected by the redistricting. These wards presently have an unbalanced amount of residents living in their boundaries. The amount of residents per ward is 4,989 and these wards have significantly more or less people than the estimated number.

The census results and the estimated future growth in the expanding subdivisions will be considered during the remapping decision.

“The first ward has 6,000 people, which is over 1,000 more (residents) than any other ward,” Polzin said. “We need to redraw this because of the amount of growth within the last 10 years.”

A committee of three aldermen including Polzin, 2nd Ward Ald. Michael Welsh and 6th Ward Ald. Jamie Pennington, presently is working on a legal remapping plan which the city council has until November 1992 to decide upon.

Polzin said the result of the remapping should not change the structure of the student wards.

“The goal of the community is to maintain moderate, balanced growth every year,” said City Manager Mark Stevens. “We do not wish for a high growth rate, nor do we want the rate to remain the same. There should be no substantial changes in the structure of the wards, just in the adjusting of boundaries.”

“The student wards are the smallest in the city. We want to keep them all at the same population and not cut the precincts up,” 7th Ward Ald. Jordan Kagan said.

He said at Monday’s workshop meeting their first victory was already won when it was agreed upon not to change the seven-ward system. This was one of their goals, he said.

“There is very positive input from the council that the seven wards will be kept as is,” Polzin said.