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The City of Fredericksburg has held public information meetings and public hearings in November, December and January on the City’s local redistricting process.
The 2021 Redistricting process is currently underway in the City of Fredericksburg. Redistricting is the process of redrawing the boundaries of voting districts based on changes in population. It occurs every 10 years following the United States Census and is governed by state law. The boundaries of the City’s election wards need to be changed to correct an imbalance of population shown in the 2020 US Census. City staff has worked with Kevin Byrnes of Regional Decision Systems, L.L.C., to provide City Council with options to re-draw the boundaries of the City’s 4 Council wards to comply with State law and local ordinance. Local redistricting determines which neighborhoods and communities in the City are grouped together into wards that elect City Council and City School Board members. By making sure each ward has approximately the same number of people, redistricting can help ensure residents have fair representation on City Council and the City School Board. It also determines where residents vote and who represents them.
City Council had planned to vote on proposed changes on December 14, 2021 and submit them to the Virginia Attorney General following the December 31, 2021 deadline as required by state law. At this December 14 meeting, Council was presented with a Citizen Plan and a modified Citizen Plan to consider for redistricting. On January 11, 2022 Council adopted on 1st reading a new ward boundary map for voting wards - the modified Citizen Plan. The analysis for the new Ward 3 showed that it would have 5,005 registered voters, putting it 5 voters over the threshold for establishing a second voting precinct. Upon further review, it was determined that the census block located between Keeneland Drive/Powhatan Street and Route 1 and north of Hazel Run has 10 registered voters, that if transferred from proposed Ward 3 back to Ward 1 (its previous ward), the registered voter threshold would not be crossed. A second Ward 3 precinct would not be necessary. The total numbers of residents in this area is 37. This change will be reviewed and discussed at the Council’s January 25 meeting as transmittal only and voted on at the February 8th regular Council meeting. Attached is a map showing the block groups shifting from new Ward 3 back to Ward 1. Note, the numbers in the map show population, not number of voters.
The City has developed redistricting plans to share with Council and the public and the following memorandum details the current wards, alternate scenarios and data to assist Council members weigh the redistricting alternatives. Fredericksburg City Ward Redistricting Memorandum (PDF), November 5, 2021. The plans are: Plan A, B, citizen plan, and modified citizen plan. Council Memo - January 6, 2022.
November 9, 2021 at 5:30pm - Work Session Agenda Item at City Council, Council Chambers, 715 Princess Anne Street. View Work Session Agenda.
January 11, 2022 at 6pm - Council Agenda Item at City Council, Council Chambers, 715 Princess Anne Street. View Council Agenda.
November 16, 2021 at 6:30pm - Public information meeting at the Walker-Grant Center, 210 Ferdinand Street, first floor School Board meeting room.
November 23, 2021 at 7:30pm- Formal Council public hearing at City Hall, Council Chambers. 715 Princess Anne Street.
December 7, 2021 at 6:30pm - Public information meeting at the Dorothy Hart Community Center, 408 Canal Street.
December 14, 2021 at 7:30pm - Action scheduled for December 14 Council meeting at City Hall, Council Chambers, 715 Princess Anne Street.
The public has been encouraged to attend these meetings and offer feedback throughout this process on the City’s website at www.fredericksburgva.gov/redistricting, by calling 540-372-1010 or by emailing email@example.com.