Concerns voiced with Valpo redistricting process
As Valparaiso gets to work on its new city council districts, some are calling on the city to make it easier for residents to submit their own proposed maps. Those who want to draw a map for the council's consideration can pick up an information packet at the Clerk-Treasurer's Office, and turn in their finished map by noon on October 19.
Council member Robert Cotton questioned that process during Monday's council meeting. "I mean, some people have an accessibility issue, and then again, it seems to me that it should be more generally available, as opposed to that additional, suppressive sort of condition," Cotton said.
City Attorney Patrick Lyp explained that the process is similar to the one the city uses for public bidding, since it lets city officials get the individuals' contact information and inform them of any potential changes. "They're there, available. Presumably, if somebody wanted a copy and was not able to get here, I'll say publicly, I'll volunteer to bring it to someone's house, if that becomes an issue or a concern there," Lyp said.
Meanwhile, Barbara Domer with the League of Women Voters of Porter County was disappointed that the city didn't provide map-making software as part of its packet. "This creates an inequity and causes me to wonder how genuine the council is, in public involvement and input," Domer told council members.
She also called for more flexibility in letting council districts cross precinct boundary lines, since the precincts don't have a balanced number of residents.
The council's co-redistricting coordinators say they're sharing thoughts, and they'll be meeting again with consultant Brian Bosma to draw up their map. Common Cause Indiana and the League of Women Voters of Porter County plan to hold a public forum on the redistricting process at 6:00 p.m. Thursday at Valparaiso High School.