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Franklin redrawing council district lines

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Thousands of Franklin residents will have a new city council member next year.

State law requires the city to redistrict every 10 years so that the five city council districts are roughly equal in population. Because the city’s population grew in the past decade, many of the boundaries will be redrawn to make the districts more even, council member Joe Abban said. Abban is in charge of creating a redistricting plan to present to the city council in November.

Residents will see the impact when they vote for city officials in the 2015 election, but the changes will take effect next year.

Abban is unsure how the districts will be redrawn and does not have a number for how many residents will be represented by someone new.

Coming up

Here is the timeline for the Franklin City Council redistricting process:

Noon Nov. 9

Deadline for members of the public to submit redistricting plans. The plan created by a city council member will be put on display in the clerk-treasurer’s office.

Nov. 19

The city council will conduct a public hearing to discuss any redistricting plans created by the council member or members of the public. The council will choose a plan at the hearing but will not approve it.

Dec. 3

The council will have a second public meeting to make revisions to the plan they chose at the last meeting and approve the finalized redistricting plan.

But the districts that will lose the most residents will be districts 3 and 5 on the west side of the city. District 1 in the downtown area will gain the most residents, Abban said.

Franklin’s districts grew in population unevenly as more than 4,000 residents moved to the city since the last redistricting, city associate planner Kevin Tolloty said.

To be even, each district will have to have about 4,700 residents, based on 2010 U.S. Census data. Right now, one district represents 7,343 people, and another represents 2,716 people, Abban said.

Most new residents have moved into districts 3 and 5. The redistricting will include more of those residents in District 1, which represents the least amount of residents, Abban said.

But the council also has to be careful not to split voting precincts and not to draw district lines that would discriminate against political or minority groups, according to state law.

Other requirements for the plan include keeping the districts compact and making them adjacent to each other, according to state law.

The council’s redistricting plan will be posted at the clerk-treasurer’s office on Nov. 9, and the council will have a public meeting to discuss the plan on Nov. 19.

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