COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Three maps and only one will dictate what Columbus City Council will look like in the future.
The commission charged with drawing the maps for future elections has their final proposals ready to go, one of which is new.
Public comment has influenced the map-making process for the city’s commission; it prompted changes for two of the maps that were shared back in October and is the reason why a third map is completely new.
In the end, only one will be chosen.
The three maps created by the Council Residential Districting Commission presents three different visions for the city, with one determining Columbus City Council’s future representatives.
“We thought, ‘OK, let’s really devote and try to put out a map that tries to keep on tact these area commissions,’ and that’s what Map C is,” said CRDC commission member Monica Cerrezuela.
Map C, the new map born out of public input, focuses on area commissions.
“Natural boundaries where neighborhoods and communities have already felt connected to, but again, during the public comment that we received after the second round of maps, people really felt strongly about not having their area commissions split up,” Cerrezuela said.
Columbus residents voted in 2018 to add two additional seats to the city council and create residential districts in which council members must live.
The goal is to have one council member from each of the nine districts on the map. While elected citywide, councilmembers will have to live in the district they represent.
Currently, many council members live close to each other.
“You know, it’s one of the side effects that we knew would happen,” Councilmember Emmanuel Remy said.
Remy added that in each of the proposed maps, current councilmembers, based on their current addresses, would have to run against each other.
“People will either make determinations whether they’ll run in the future, run against another colleague, or maybe not and move on to some other role and so, you know, every one of them, there’s people clustered together, so that’ll be a dramatic change for council,” he said.
Public comment on the three maps is open for 30 days, but there will be no further revisions. The three current maps are the final options.
“At that point, we’ll be able to kind of reflect on the feedback we have received,” Cerrezuela said. “We’ll try to consolidate that in a very neutral way because at the end of the day, they’re the ones that will have to decide which map to go with.”
The selected map will be used for elections starting in 2023.
To view the three proposed maps and offer comment, click here.