Wichita City Council members quickly pushed through a revised map of the city’s six council districts Tuesday afternoon.
The new council district map includes the shift of four voting precincts in Districts 1, 2, 3 and 4, in an attempt to balance the district populations. City ordinances require that approximately one-sixth of the city’s total population — or 63,728 people, based on the 2010 Census — be allocated within each district, with no district deviating more than 5 percent from that number. City ordinances require that the districts be redrawn every 10 years to balance those populations.
There was no mention made Tuesday of proposals to slash the city’s six districts to five and change the vice mayor position to full-time, or of a proposal to establish a full-time council, ideas floated earlier this fall from the bench to a lukewarm reception by the city.
But council member Pete Meitzner, who was one of the council members who floated the alternative council compositions, reiterated his concern about the council’s electoral process.
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“I still have a concern we have half of the city voting every two years, on districts 1, 3 and 6 every two years and then voting in the next two years in the general mayoral election,” Meitzner said. “Half the city only votes every four years. ... I’m not sure what the answer is or whether there is an answer, but ... if we can come up with a suggestion to rectify that it would help. I assume we’re all for voter participation.”