The Lorain City Council neighborhood lines will change, and it looks promising that every neighborhood in the city will have a similar population.
On December 6, the Council will begin deliberating on the new map of the city’s neighborhoods.
So far Ward 8 City Councilor Joshua Thornsberry has guided the process of redrawing the lines to accommodate population changes within the city.
The process takes place every ten years after the U.S. Census to ensure that every neighborhood has roughly the same population.
The way the lines are drawn so far, each neighborhood will have a target population of around 8,100 people.
Thornsberry represents the west side of town, which is Lorain’s main growth area.
It followed the precedent ten years ago from former Ward 8 Councilor Craig Snodgrass, now Lorain County Auditor-Elect.
The eighth neighborhood is usually the one that changes the most due to population growth on the west side and the decrease in other parts of the city.
The physical area of Ward 8 will become smaller and the rest of the neighborhoods will increase in size, although the changes will be less noticeable on the east side.
And Thornsberry expected him to start speaking with residents and other Council members soon.
This is important to Thornsberry so that they can receive comments from the public on whether they like it.
The Council’s action must be done fairly quickly because it must approve the new map by the end of the year.
But, there will be some modifications to what already exists.
Among the notable changes, parts of Ward 8 will be divided into Quarters 7, 4 and 3.
The northern part of the Martins Run Subdivision, which is the section of the Lorain City School District, will move to Ward 7, while the southern area of the Amherst Exempt Village School District will remain in Ward 8.
Thornsberry isn’t happy with the new map, adding that it’s a hard-to-swallow pill that keeps 1,500 people away from Ward 8.
The city councilor felt he had done an adequate job representing the neighborhood. After all, he has served them for the past eight years.
Residents who have supported him now will have to rely on another council member.
Other changes include that the eastern edge of Ward 7 will be part of Ward 2; the eastern edge of Ward 3 will be part of Ward 5; a few blocks from Ward 5 will be part of Ward 6.
These neighborhoods make up the south of Lorain and Ward 6 will keep the steelworks along 28th Street East.
Additionally, the enclave section of Ward 2 east of Black River will become part of Ward 1 and part of Ward 1 will become Ward 2.
These changes are in the area roughly bordered by Colorado Avenue in the east to Louisiana and Maine Avenues and from East Erie Avenue in the south to F Street.
Ward 1 will continue to represent the east side of Lorain between Lake Erie and the Black River.
The map, however, is not a radical overhaul of Lorain’s ridings.
Thornsberry said that where possible he tries to follow the natural and man-made boundaries that already exist in the city.
He said he even tried to use other natural or political boundaries just to have a common sense approach.
In recent weeks, state lawmakers have sparked a legal battle to redraw the boundaries of the state and federal representative districts within Ohio.
And in recent years, Lorain voters have tended to favor Democrats when approving elected officials.
But what’s important here is that Thornsberry has taken a very apolitical approach.
Paul Adams, director of the Lorain County Board of Elections, pointed out that Lorain City Council has the power to draw neighborhood boundaries.
Once approved, the Council of Elections will work with city officials to adjust the perimeter lines within Lorain.
The changes could also mean that some voters will change their polling location.
If this happens, the Electoral Council will notify voters.
The changes would come into effect so that candidates for Lorain city council seats in 2023 know the limits.
The new limits will be in effect for serving board members in early 2024.
In addition to the US census, the Lorain County Board of Elections provided data on voters by enumeration area and the city’s engineering department provided the mapping expertise to map Lorain.
As of November 30, the draft map was 99%, but adjustments continued to take into account census tracts, parcel lines and city limits.
So far the map looks pretty good and the Council should consider supporting the changes.