City staff presented several GIS maps for the council to review during the meeting. Community Development Director Richard McLeod said he would bring one map that incorporates all of the input made by council to the Oct. 8 meeting.
City Manager Jeff Moon said according to census data, a major problem with the existing map is that two-thirds of the city of Woodstock’s population resides in only two of the city’s six wards: Ward 1, represented by Randy Brewer and Ward 5, represented by Bud Leonard.
“It’s not a matter of simply moving a few lines to make it work, it’s a matter of two wards basically have to lose half of their people,” Moon said.
Moon said he was hoping the council would reach consensus on which map to move forward with Monday, however that was not the case.
Moon said the four maps were created with separate input from councilmembers Tessa Bassford, Chris Casdia Randy Brewer and a final map incorporating all input.
Baxter requested the city schedule a public hearing on the proposed changes. Moon said he preferred presenting the finalized map after it was presented to the council at its next meeting, so the hearing was settled tentatively for Oct. 15.
Baxter expressed concern about her district being spread out and containing “several islands.”
Brewer also wished to incorporate more areas so his ward line was not so jagged in portions of Rope Mill Lane and Woodstock Parkway adjacent to Interstate 575.
McLeod said a big challenge in balancing the district is that a significant portion of the city’s population lives in the east side of the city and all of the councilmembers live on the west side of Trickum Road.