The Greensboro City Council is scheduled to approve new City Council districts for the 2022 election at the 5:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 1 meeting.
This is the first meeting since July that will be held in the Katie Dorsett City Council Chamber. A limited number of people will be allowed to attend in person, but people can also participate virtually via Zoom and can watch the meeting on the Greensboro Television Network GTN, on the Greensboro YouTube Channel at: https://www.youtube.com/user/CityofGreensboroNC or through the City of Greensboro website at https://www.greensboro-nc.gov/government/city-council/council-meetings.
Adopting a resolution for City Council redistricting is the last business item on the agenda.
From comments made by members of the City Council both during and after the public hearing on the maps presented by the Citizens’ Redistricting Committee at the Oct. 19 meeting, it appears the council has no intention of approving the map recommended by the much ballyhooed committee.
Several committee members said they wanted to send one map, the “Pie-Shaped” Version 2 Draft Map, to the City Council. But they were told by consultant Mac McCarley of Parker Poe law firm that they had been charged by the City Council with presenting “maps.”
The actual criteria approved by the committee states, “a map or maps.” Under pressure from McCarley and city staff, the committee was decided that it would present three maps. However, only one map, Pie-Shaped Version 2 Draft Map, has the committee recommendation. When the committee voted the Pie-Shaped map received six out of seven votes.
The Moderate Change 2 Draft Map, which was drawn by committee member Marlene Sanford and seen for the first time by the committee at its final meeting, received one vote – Sanford’s.
Sanford’s moderate change map did beat out the Least Change Draft Map, which received no votes from committee members, but was included in the three maps presented because the committee was told it needed to present three maps for City Council consideration.
Mayor Nancy Vaughan spoke in favor of Sanford’s moderate change map at the Oct. 19 meeting and appeared to have the support of the majority of the City Council.
However, Councilmember Sharon Hightower spoke against all three of the maps presented by the committee and Hightower has a lot of clout on the City Council.
The City Council is under no obligation to approve the map recommended by the committee or the two maps presented by the committee.
The council can alter one of the maps presented or approve an entirely new map that the committee didn’t consider.
Of the five current City Council Districts, only District 2 is out of compliance with the court-established standard of being within 5 percent of the ideal district. District 2 was out of compliance because according to the 2020 Census the population was 5.02 percent higher than the ideal district.
The Least Change map meets the population requirements by moving one-and-a-half precincts.