The city council will study the redistribution of the districts
Newport City Council unanimously approved two resolutions on Nov. 10, including one to potentially establish new redistribution lines for neighborhood voters, although officials are uncertain whether the borders will change much, if at all. all.
Councilor Angela McCalla presented the resolution to redistribute neighborhoods in order to keep the populations of each district âroughly equalâ. Populations change every 10 years, she said, and “changes are happening.”
The districts contain between 500 and 2000 voters.
âWhat this resolution is asking for tonight is to ensure support for the redistribution process. It is up to citizens to ensure that representation is maintained, âshe said.
Councilor Jamie Bova, who co-sponsored the resolution, said: âWith access to the vote and public confidence, the redistribution will and I look forward to the process. “
City attorney Christopher Behan, citing the 2022 elections for city council and school committee, said the district’s boundaries were to be set by June. [through the General AsÂsembly, something the resolution acknowledged], but added that the process across state and city will likely be the same.
“When I look at this [resolution], I don’t really know what the goal isâ¦ âsaid Councilor Kate Leonard. “How would this resolution be different from what we are doing now?” “
McCalla said he would establish at least three additional public meetings with voters on the matter. Almost 10 years ago, the last time this question was consulted, only one public forum was held.
Tracy Nelson, clerk of the Newport Solicitation Authority, said she was not sure the city’s three neighborhoods would be altered much.
“There are neighborhoods [within the wards], but our services are currently distributed very evenly, around the ideal number, âshe said. “Unless [things change for some unexpected reason], the ideal is to leave them identical, as coherent as we are. The legislative committee will present legislation to the General Assembly to solidify these lines for approval by January 15. We cannot do ours until the state has finished its job.
“All of our suppliers do all of this and come up with three proposals,” she added. âThere is a public presentationâ¦ Then [there is] a vote on a recommendation, then it goes to the board for final approval. I don’t know if the Newport dors will be attending four meetings.
McCalla said there were other factors involved in the redistribution beyond population, and said “it was good citizenship 101 [and] how to draw the line and be sure [the peopleâs] the voice could be inserted into what is happening.
Vice President Lynn Ceglie said the city is issuing a tender (request for proposal) for an external supplier to facilitate the process.
âWe have to make sure that the neighborhoods are evenly distributed by population, but we also have to make sure that there are no people in small pockets. I do not understand that the public draws the lines, âshe said.
McCalla reiterated that “other factors weigh heavily” in the process, so the city “does not draw the wrong lines.”
âThat’s basically what we did last time around,â Behan replied. âIn the past, we hired consultants. We held a public hearing and the public got to hear what the consultants drew. The only thing it does is add a few more public hearings. “
âIt also ensures that a schedule follows,â McCalla said.
Nelson said potential vendors, most of whom have backgrounds with the city, will be selected at the next council meeting on Dec. 16. Districts must be approved by June 29.
Ceglie wanted to make sure that the chosen seller is an âapolitical personâ.
Nelson said the suppliers, at least in theory, would be “independent, hired through RFP, not a night flight company.”