SOUTH BEND -- The South Bend Common Council voted in favor of a plan to redraw the city's six council districts Monday based on population changes documented as part of the 2010 Census.
The vote was 6-1, with council member Henry Davis Jr., D-District 2, opposed. Council members Valerie Schey, D-District 3, and Dave Varner, R-District 5, were absent.
The plan, developed with input from a special committee made up of five South Bend residents, including council member Karen White, D-at large, makes changes to Districts 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6, but not 4.
Four voting precincts, consisting of a total of 4,630 residents, or about 4.7 percent of the city's total population, are affected by the changes, as follows:
-- Precinct 13027 moves from District 2 to District 1;
-- Precinct 13067 moves from District 6 to District 2;
-- Precinct 13059 moves from District 5 to District 3; and
-- Precinct 130625 moves from District 6 to District 5.
In voting in opposition to the plan, Davis said he did not know what he was voting on because the bill to adopt it was not specific enough about what areas of the city would be affected.
"If I don't know what I'm voting on, no one else does either," Davis said, to which a number of council members responded, "I do."
The plan was one of three proposed by the committee charged with redrawing the city's council districts. It was the one that affected the fewest number of both residents and registered voters.
"We did take a look at three options," White said. "We believe this is the least intrusive in terms of the number of districts impacted."
State law requires that the city's council districts be updated every 10 years to reflect the most recent census data. The resulting districts must be composed of contiguous territory; reasonably compact; and, as much as possible, equal in population.
The city last updated its council districts in 2002. Since then, the population in the city has declined by 6.1 percent, from 107,789 to 101,168.
In other business Monday, the council voted 7-0 in favor of an ordinance recognizing Martin Luther King Jr. Day as an official city holiday, to replace a floating holiday.
The council next meets in January.
Staff writer Erin Blasko: