Youngstown ward reduction measure fails

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A measure to reduce the number of wards in the city of Youngstown from seven to five failed in Tuesday’s election.

The race was extremely close, with the measure failing by just over one hundred votes.

The proposed amendment called for seven ward seats if the city’s population is 80,000 or more. According to the 2010 U.S. Census, approximately 65,000 people now live in Youngstown.

To see a map of the city’s seven wards, click here.

The city charter established seven wards in 1923. Since then, Youngstown has lost 60 percent of its population. If the charter amendment passed, the number of people council members represent would increase from around 9,500 people per ward to more than 13,000 people per ward, but the population of each ward would be more evenly distributed.

Youngstown City Council recently passed legislation that redraws the city’s ward boundaries. The issue had been debated for two years and was three decades in the making. Council is supposed to redraw the wards every 10 years based on the census, but it has not been done for more than 30 years.

If the charter amendment to reduce the wards had been approved, council would have had to redraw the map again to reflect the change. If the amendment does not pass, the new ward boundaries will take effect early next year.

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