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Fate of redistricting plan up to council

By Staff | Apr 25, 2011

Any changes to the proposed redistricting plan now falls on the shoulders of the Cape Coral City Council, but time is still running short as the changes must be voted on by May 16, in time for September’s primary election.
Should the council not vote in time, this year’s elections would be at large.
The public hearing date for the redistricting plan is next Monday, May 2.
Redistricting Committee chair Gary Vandenberg said the group tried to find “commonality” while reorganizing the city’s seven voting districts.
Vandenberg jokingly called the city’s sixth district a “problem child,” because the population there doubled in the decade between the two Censuses.
Councilmember Kevin McGrail said his home was in “the precipice” of being sanctioned into District 5 in stead of 6, and he didn’t want to the commission to make any exceptions. If his home were sanctioned into District 5, he would still serve the sixth district until his term is up for election in 2013.
He called the redistricted position of his home an “appendix” of District 6.
“We need to do this logically … it makes no sense to lop off two streets and make an appendix for a council person,” he said.
Council praised the work of the Redistricting Committee, especially given the amount of time the group had to do its work.
Normally given six months, the committee had about four months to get the redistricting proposal completed.
Councilmember Chris Chulakes-Leetz said each district of the city is as equally important as the next, and he wished the committee had more time to examine the complexities of the process.
“It’s unfortunate we didn’t have more time to be out of the box and more creative,” he said.