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Public Hearings Scheduled For Annapolis Ward Boundary Changes

| December 19, 2021, 01:39 PM

The City of Annapolis will hold a series of public meetings to review ward boundaries to balance districts to account for population shifts, ensuring equal representation among the eight wards of the City. The first meeting is set for December 21 beginning at 7 p.m. The Task Force must complete its work by the end of April 2022.

Background: Every 10 years, the U.S. Census Bureau conducts a count of the population. Earlier this year, the Census Bureau released the data to the City of Annapolis. With this data, the City is required to reexamine ward boundaries to ensure balance and make changes, if warranted. In order to help the City conduct this work, the Annapolis City Council established the Ward Boundaries Task Force. The Task Force is made up of appointed volunteers from across the City who have six months to review Census data, hold public meetings, and report back to the City Council with recommendations. The members of the 2021 Redistricting Task Force include:

  • Emma Smith – Ward 1
  • Brandon P. Wright – Ward 2
  • Harold Lloyd Sr. – At Large
  • Lisa Randall Wilson – Ward 3
  • Solon Webb – Ward 4
  • Jared Littmann – Ward 5, Chair
  • Greg Brennan – Ward 6
  • Mary Anne Arnett – Ward 7, Vice-Chair
  • Michael Matthews – Ward 8

The Task Force has received the preliminary data needed to conduct the work. In the 2020 U.S. Census, the updated population of Annapolis is 40,951. At the conclusion of the work, each ward should have roughly the same number of residents.

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In Annapolis in 2021, eight wards of equal population would include 5,119 people. While equal distribution is not necessary, each ward must have no more than 5,375 and no less than 4,863 people, a 5 percent deviation. Using the existing ward boundaries, Ward 2 currently has 5,441 people or 66 more than the allowable deviation, and Ward 7 has 4,692 people, or 171 less than the allowable deviation.

At a minimum, the Task Force must offer a proposed map with redrawn ward boundaries such that Ward 2 has fewer people and Ward 7 has more people. There are many restrictions that guide or limit how these changes may be made. For example, wards must be contiguous, so it is likely that many, if not all, of the ward boundaries, could change.

Public input into this process is important. The Task Force has scheduled two public meetings.  In addition, testimony can be offered by email to [email protected] or on the comments form for the Task Force, or by regular mail to City Hall, Attention Hilary Raftovich, 160 Duke of Gloucester, Annapolis, MD 21401. Currently, two public meetings are scheduled:

  • Tuesday, December 21, 2021, at 7 p.m. at Pip Moyer Recreation Center
  • Tuesday, February 15, 2022 (time and location TBD)

All virtual meetings will be live-streamed to the City YouTube page. The deadline to submit testimony is March 10, 2022. You can find more information from the Task Force’s webpage on the Annapolis.gov website.

The Task Force is required to submit its recommendations to the City Council within six months. The City Council will then introduce legislation that will go through the regular procedures with amendments and further public hearings.

The last time the City completed redistricting, the new Ward map was adopted by the City Council on July 23, 2012.

Lights On The Bay 2021

Category: Local News, NEWS, Post To FB

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