More than a year ago residents voted to divide the city into five districts causing the way we vote for council members to change. At the latest council meeting, staff unveiled a proposed map of the plan. Under the new system, the council would consist of one representative from each district and three at-large councilmen. Roughly 66 percent of Naperville residents voted to separate the city into five districts in last November’s elections. Now, the city staff has come up with the preliminary map based on the 2010 census numbers. Doug Krieger, City manager says the initial map looks great but there’s still some problems that need to be fixed.
“There are a couple areas we know will change in both DuPage and Will counties,” said Krieger. “Those areas relate to the areas where the census blocks didn’t trace exactly with existing precinct boundaries and we want to get those ironed out.”
John Krummen lost his campaign for council last year but plans to run again in 2013.
“It will obviously bring down the cost of my campaign in the future,” said Krummen. “Instead of reaching the whole city I only have to reach just a section, but still going to be the same message.”
One item of concern on the new map was that too much of downtown is located in district two.
“I think it’s pretty simple that could be divided into three districts or two at the minimum but I would suggest that maybe we take a look at that,” said Dick Frustenau, a Naperville resident.
“One of the challenges with downtown, although it’s absolutely a critical component of our city, is the fact that although a lot of businesses are there, there’s not a lot of population in the downtown,” said Krieger.
While district five, or South Naperville, was the least populated part of the map, councilmen agreed it’s the area that population will increase the most in the future.
“District 5 they are growing families there are going to be people coming into their voting years 18 and older,” said councilman Robert Fieseler. “You have a lot of people on the north side who are already voters.”
The next step will be to put an interactive map on the city’s website by mid-January where the public will be able to give feedback. Jane Barnes, representing the League of Women Voters was glad to see council pass the motion to hold an initial meeting for the entire population and then five separate meetings in each of the proposed districts.
“We think we need to get people aware of the actual geographical boundaries,” said Barnes. “They are pretty big. We were saying that all along.”
With nearly 30,000 residents in each district, the league worries that the goal of a better representation will be difficult to achieve but they remain optimistic. Kreiger says they plan to make a final decision by July of 2012.
WANT MORE LOCAL NEWS?
Get daily news headlines delivered to your inbox!Sign Up Today!