Redistricting could push some council members out of their districts

City News Service

City Council President Tony Young said Tuesday there could be a third council member bumped out of a district if certain adjustments are made to a redistricting map under — himself.

The plan being weighed by the Redistricting Commission already moves District 3 away from the City Heights residence of Councilman Todd Gloria, and District 6 away from the home of Councilwoman Lorie Zapf in Bay Ho.

Young said if commissioners make adjustments to Valencia Park, he could be bumped out of his District 4.

However, the city’s rules allow the council members to continue to represent their usual districts in such a case, he said.

The issue is more critical for Gloria, who is up for re-election next year and has filed to run again in the third district.

Sticking with that idea would require him to move, which would be attractive because his district is almost certain to pick up downtown. The area is also home to the Hillcrest gay and lesbian political base — and Gloria is one of the two openly gay members of the City Council.

Young would serve out his second term but is ineligible for re-election in District 4 due to term limits.

A representative for Zapf said she would continue to represent the sixth district. She is only in her first term, however, so if she wanted to run for re-election, she would have to choose between moving or running in District 2.

District boundaries are redrawn every 10 years using data from the latest census. The new map is a little more extreme this year because of the addition of a ninth district, brought about by the switch in the city’s form of government a few years ago. Residents who end up in the new ninth council district will continue to be represented by their current council member until after elections are held next year, Young said.

The city is in the midst of remapping council districts, using 2010 census data to balance populations and meet requirements of the Voting Rights Act.

If the current map under consideration by the Redistricting Commission is approved as scheduled in about three weeks, the new boundaries would go into effect on Sept. 25.

The ninth district — which as proposed would run from the College Area through City Heights to Southcrest — was necessitated by the city’s switch to a strong-mayor form of government, which removed the mayor from the City Council and left eight members.

The council member for the added district will be seated in December 2012, following next year’s elections, Young said. Until then, he said, residents who need services can contact their current representative, either Marti Emerald, Todd Gloria or himself.

“There is no need for a costly special election or an interim appointment as some might suggest,’' Young told reporters.

Young said he will work with City Attorney Jan Goldsmith to present a resolution on Sept. 26 that will spell out procedures for putting in the new districts. He said he does not plan to spend any more money than is already budgeted for City Council operations.

The implementation plan could be thrown awry if the new map results in a lawsuit or referendum.