City officials met at a public meeting Thursday with demographer Mike Hefner to view Census data as it relates to the four City Council election districts.
Redrawing election district boundaries on the basis of the decennial population count is a requirement of government bodies.
The city’s four ward regions, generally speaking are Ward 1, northeast section of the city; Ward 2, southeast; Ward 3, southwest; and Ward 4, northwest.
According to Hefner, the ideal district on the basis of the 2010 Census would have 2,598 residents. A 5 percent plus or minus differential is allowable under the Voting Rights Act administered by the U.S. Dept. of Justice.
As currently drawn, Ward 1 has 2,585; Ward 2 has 2,362; Ward 3 has 2,807; and Ward 4 has 2,636.
Ward 2 at 9 percent differential has two few and Ward 3 at 8 percent over has too many.
Hefner showed the council and mayor options at Thursday’s meeting and Ward 2 member Germaine Simpson and Ward 3 member James Bergeron quickly agreed to a solution.
Moving the part of the boundary between their districts that bisects Boudreaux street west to Fuselier would accomplish the necessary adjustments.
Taking in Ulysses, Childs and Periotti from Boudreaux west to Fuselier would push Ward 2 to 2,588 residents and reduce Ward 3 to 2,565.
That action would also met two other reapportionment standards - maintaining compact districts with contiguous population and retaining traditional minority districts (Ward 2).
Hefner said he looked at scrambling ward boundaries in an effort to create a second minority majority district but could come up with nothing he thought realistic.
When completed, the formal reapportionment proposal will be the subject of a public hearing before a City Council vote, after which it will be forward for review to Justice.
It will take effect with the primary election of October, 2014.