WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) — Warren City Council has started the process of trying to redistrict the city’s seven wards.
The strategic planning committee kicked off the conversation Wednesday night. Warren’s last redistricting plan was adopted in 1991, after the 1990 census. The process is supposed to be done every 10 years.
Since the last redistricting 23 years ago, the city’s population has declined from 50,793 in 1990 to 41,557 in 2010, according to U.S. Census figures. However, 3rd Ward Councilman John Brown thinks the population has decreased even more since then and now likely stands at closer to 40,000.
The population decline has created some imbalance among the seven wards. Based on the 2010 census, each ward should have an average of about 6,000 residents.
And council members want the public to be part of the conversation on how to get there.
“We want to get input from the citizens. This is the kickoff, and then we’ll have some more meetings on both sides of town, and let people understand how the process works and what they think,” Brown said.
The YSU Center for Urban and Regional Studies has agreed to study and draw up maps of possible new districts, for no more than $3,000.
Current population dictates Warren will stay split up into seven wards, but officials worry the city could lose a ward, and therefore a council seat, after the 2020 census is taken.