Hopf: A Republican map is heading to City Council

Posted: Jun. 26, 2011 12:01 am Updated: Nov. 28, 2014 10:42 am

By MATT HOPF Herald-Whig Staff Writer

THE PROPOSAL to redistrict the ward map in the city of Quincy will not be introduced at City Council Monday night because the resolution is not ready, meaning it will be another week before it is presented.

However, another proposal is in the works. Republicans are looking at introducing their own map when the council addresses the issue. Aldermen could then ask the city's legal counsel to draft a resolution or amend the city's map when it is introduced

Sources say two maps are being developed by the GOP, although only one is being seriously considered. With a 10-4 veto-proof majority on the City Council, Republicans can basically push a map whichever way they want, assuming all of them agree on the changes.

And you can't blame them for wanting more say over the map. They are in control for the first time since 1953, and they are basically reversing the role that has been used against them statewide.

The Illinois General Assembly, which is controlled by Democrats, pushed through proposed maps for state and federal legislative districts with little input and no support from Republicans. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has signed both maps into law. The last three times the state has had to redistrict, a random tiebreaker had to be selected for the General Assembly redistricting commission because the two chambers could not agree.

It is not surprising that a different city ward map is in the works.

Alderman Dan Brink, R-6, requested one amendment to the map at Tuesday's Redistricting Committee meeting, although no vote was taken. He was asked to hold any amendments until the map goes before the full City Council.

He said that he planned to introduce the amendment that would keep the Indian Hills and Hilltop areas in the 6th Ward, which are scheduled to move to the 7th Ward in the map introduced by the bipartisan Redistricting Committee. That map was developed by an employee in the city's Information Technology Department and recommended by the committee for council approval.

However, some on the Republican side felt Brink's amendment did not "go far enough."

In addition to Brink's proposed changes, sources say the GOP map would move some of the northernmost portions of the committee's proposed 2nd Ward -- an area north of Seminary Road bounded by 12th and 18th streets -- back into the 1st Ward. That, theoretically, would provide more Republican votes for the 1st Ward, which is now represented by Democrat Virgil Goehl and Republican Glenda "LeXze" Mann.

Meanwhile, a Democratic portion of the 1st Ward would be shifted to the 2nd Ward, which is represented by Democrats Steve Duesterhaus and Dave Bauer. That would leave Democrats in control of that ward.

Duesterhaus, Kyle Moore (R-3), Jennifer Lepper (R-5) and Terri Heinecke (R-7) all live close to the proposed ward boundary lines, but neither side has publicly introduced a map that would push any aldermen into new wards.

One thing about redistricting that tends to be forgotten, however, is that people move and demographics change. It's doubtful any Democrats or Republicans would have suggested that the gerrymandered 17th Congressional District would elect a Republican congressman when it was created in 2001, but that's what happened last November when Bobby Schilling defeated Phil Hare.

The same thing could happen at the city level.




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