From WILL - News Headlines -

Champaign City Council Prepares to Consider Redistricting Plans

Champaign City Council members will be given a set of proposals for new city council districts at their study session on Tuesday night.

The proposals come from members of the public, who used special software on the Champaign city website to design their own map proposals.

City Planning Director Bruce Knight said the council will be drawing up a new council district map for a city population that grew 22 percent over the last decade --- to 81,050 people. A special census in 2007 confirmed the growth in new territory on the edges of Champaign. But Knight said the full census in 2010 showed that growth occurred throughout the city.

"Probably the most interesting thing, especially working from the changes we made from the special census just a few years ago --- what we have seen is more population growth in the core of the city than we'd seen previously," Knight said.

Knight says the number of council redistricting proposals from the public has been small --- just four, as of Monday morning. But the city planned to take proposals through its website until midnight Monday night.

Assistance Information Technology Director Mark Toalson says users may find the special redistricting software slow to load. But once it's in place, he says it's pretty easy to design your own map of Champaign city council districts.

"It's pretty straightforward," Toalson said. " You just pick, essentially the pieces of the puzzle that you want in a new district. And the program will recalculate population and demographic statistics for you. So it kind of keeps a running total on the populations of your proposed districts."

There's a link to the mapping software on the city council page of the Champaign website. The Champaign City Council is scheduled to discuss designs for a new council district map at its Oct. 25 study session.

Categories: Government, Politics