Voters are going to want to double-check where they cast their ballots in Superior in the spring election after the Superior City Council adopted new wards and aldermanic districts Tuesday, Oct. 19.
The maps reflect some of the most dramatic changes in council districts seen in recent decades to balance the number of people each councilor represents. In 2011, only a few blocks citywide changed districts.
“I want to commend the clerk’s department for all the work that they did,” Councilor Keith Kern said. “This is a map that took into consideration every one of the representatives that sit up here … I think it’s a very fair map that we can use for the next 10 years.”
Redrawing political boundaries to account for shifts in population is required by federal and state constitutional and statutory provisions. It happens every 10 years following the decennial census. The least populous district must be within 10% of the most populous district. Superior’s deviation is 6.3%
The new council districts go into effect in time for the 2022 spring election.
With a decline in population over the last decade, every city council district is going to see changes as a result of redistricting.
For the 185 people living southwest of U.S. Highway 2/53 neighborhood along East Third Street and Douglas County E to City Limits Road in the Itasca, voting in 2022 will take them on a different path.
Instead of casting ballots at Zion Lutheran Church like they have for the last decade, they’ll have to drive by the church to head toward Central Assembly of God, 3000 Hammond Ave., to cast their vote. Or they’ll have to wend their way through Parkland and South Superior to find the polling place for the 1st aldermanic district where they now reside.
Residents in the southwestern corner of the District 4 near Stinson Avenue will soon be casting ballots as District 2 residents at Zion Lutheran Church.
The 3rd District extends further east between 28th Street and Stinson Avenue to 10th Avenue East at North 28th and 14th Avenue East at Stinson. Some residents currently living in the 3rd District north of 23rd street will soon be voting at Northwood Technical College as part of the 7th District.
District 4 is shrinking in area and is listed as the least populous district in the plan; however, P&R Properties has plans to build a 120-unit apartment building in the district.
The 5th District will extend further north to Catlin Avenue and Winter Street, and neighborhoods south of North 21st Street East currently part of the district shift into the 7th and 4th Districts.
District 6 will extend southward to includes neighborhoods surrounding Tower Avenue between Oakes and John avenues to North 21st Street, resulting in ballots cast at the Government Center rather than the Billings Park Civic Center.
The 7th District, the most populous in the plan, is expanding south of North 21st St.
District 8 no longer extends as far south as North 28th Street, and includes neighborhoods in the heart of Billings Park.
District 9 residents include more recently developed neighborhoods to the west and south in Billings Park, extending the city’s southern border around the Superior Municipal Forest.
Kern, whose term expires in April, and Councilor Craig Sutherland both reside in the 8th District. The 9th District election in April will offer no incumbent and the 8th District seat won’t be up for re-election until 2023. Sutherland will retain the 8th District seat until 2023.
The 10th District had the fewest changes with an extension to the west along North 12th Street to John Avenue and streets south of Winter Street between Catlin Avenue and U.S Highway 53 moving into the 5th District.
City clerk Camila Ramos said people will be notified of changes to their polling location, and the city plans to set up a website where people can check the polling location for their address once everything is finalized.
The county board is expected to finalize its supervisory districts during a special meeting Nov. 10, the last step in the process.