Planning department receives final Census Bureau statistics

Wednesday, March 16, 2011 at 4:43pm
Staff reports

The Metro Planning Department said Wednesday it has received 2010 U.S. Census Bureau information to be used in redrawing, among others, Davidson County’s 35 Metro Council districts and nine school board districts.

Planning department officials said preliminary processing of the figures has begun, and proposed new council district boundaries will be available online for public review and comment  beginning Wednesday, March 23. The department is attempting to propose new districts in a timely fashion so that the new district boundaries can be used in the Aug. 4 council elections.

A new planning department webpage (http://www.nashville.gov/mpc/redist.asp ) provides information on the Metro Council redistricting process. The page is also linked directly from the department front page; it currently displays existing council district lines based on the 2000 Census and explains the guidelines that the department will follow in the redrawing of new district boundaries. The page will be updated regularly with maps showing potential new district boundaries and includes an email link for public comment.

Three community meetings have been scheduled to discuss and explain the process. Half the time of the public sessions will be directed to current council, board of education and Metro Planning Commission members, with the remaining time devoted to council candidates and the general public. Planning department staff will make short presentations and be available for informal discussion. There will be no formal public hearings, but written and verbal comments will be accepted.

The meetings are slated for Wednesday, March 23, at the Sonny West Conference Center, Howard Office Building, 700 Second Ave. S.; Monday, March 28, at Metro Southeast, 1417 Murfreesboro Pike; and Wednesday, March 30 at the Sonny West Conference Center.

The planning commission will meet in a special session at 4 p.m. Thursday, March 31, at Metro Southeast to consider potential new district boundaries. Once approved by the planning commission, the redrawn council and board of education boundaries will go to the Metro Council for final approval.

The council can set its own timeline for that process, but is expected to fast-track the effort so as to finalize about four weeks prior to the May 19 deadline for candidates to file their documents. This will give those candidates who find themselves in a district other than what they had originally expected time to regroup with their campaigns.

3 Comments on this post:

By: girliegirl on 3/17/11 at 7:58

I'm curious if the incorporation of Lakewood will somehow change the "lines" that were drawn.

By: JeffF on 3/17/11 at 10:29

Looking at the planning maps for growth by current district (http://www.nashville.gov/mpc/docs/redist/council_estimates_2010.pdf), they will have to work pretty hard to keep the current representation that downtown and the gentrified and non-gentrified core areas. It is obvious that there are several of those districts that will have to be merged in order to add representatives to the areas of Metro that are actually growing in the Southwest and Southeast.

They will have to do one of two things. Split the current "downtown" district 19 among the underrepresented districts around it thus giving downtown more votes then it deserves based on actual population and economic importance or they will leave it alone and merge those African-American centric communities surrounding it into fewer districts and reduce those numbers on the board. Either solution will be a snake pit for the government since the Mayors office does not want downtown to be represented anyone other than a meeting -planner-friendly white face who thinks tourism is GREAT!

Look at the maps, all the areas that are supposed to be Nashville's showcases of urban and historical resource planning? Stagnate or shrinking. Those mean ol' suburbs within Davidson are kicking it again this census. Will the focus of the mayor's office remain just in downtown while the rest of Metro clamors for services to meet growth needs?

By: Kosh III on 3/17/11 at 5:44

Dean is only interested in downtown and his corporate buddies/masters