Amendment to reduce wards heading to ballot

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Youngstown voters will have a chance to lower the number of people representing them this November.

At Tuesday evening’s special City Council meeting, council members voted in favor of placing the charter amendment on the ballot this fall as long as the Mahoning County Board of Elections certifies there is enough valid signatures on the petition that was circulated by a grassroots group called “Draw the Line.”

Council approved putting the measure on the ballot by a vote of 6 to 1, with 1st Ward Councilwoman Annie Gillam casting the lone ‘no’ vote. Most of the city council members have been very vocal against reducing the number of wards in the city of Youngstown.

Council just voted in favor of redrawing the current seven wards after nearly two years of debate.

Mayor John McNally said he does not think people in town will see much of a difference if the amendment passes.

“I guess we’ll see what happens on Election Day on whether we’ll stick with the seven wards or go to five wards. Overall I don’t expect it will be that different,” McNally said.

If the charter amendment passes, the number of people council members represent would increase from around 9,500 people per ward to more than 13,000 people per ward.

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