Every 10 years, cities the size of Seymour have to go through the redistricting process.
Based on Indiana Code, Seymour is defined as a third-class city and has a city council composed of seven members, five who are elected from districts established in the city’s code of ordinances and two at-large members.
Third-class cities are required to update district boundaries every 10 years in the second year after a decennial census is conducted.
Seymour experienced population growth from 2010 to 2020, occurring in various places within the city at similar degrees of growth within different sections.
A map was created to divide the city into five districts that are composed of contiguous territory, reasonably compact, do not cross precinct boundary lines and contain as nearly as possible equal population. That means they have a population deviation of less than 10%.
The deadline for completing the process is Dec. 31.
During a meeting Nov. 14, the city council unanimously voted 7-0 to pass the first reading of an ordinance providing for redistricting in compliance with state code.
Then when the council met Nov. 28, the second reading was approved 5-0 with councilmen Drew Storey and Chad Hubbard absent, and the first reading of an ordinance to amend city code to update the council districts was approved by the same tally.
The second reading and final reading will be during the council’s next meeting, set for 7 p.m. Dec. 26.
Council President Dave Earley, chairman of the governmental affairs committee, introduced the ordinances.
“I was a part of it 10 years ago, and there are certain parameters that you have to try to keep and make it as fair as possible,” he said when introducing the ordinance. “Sometimes, it’s moving a road over one way catching a little area, but that’s something by law that we’re obligated to do.”
City attorney Christina Engleking said Seymour’s growth necessitated redrawing some of the district boundaries, and annexed areas are taken into account.
“For the most part, it stays true to the current boundaries with the exception of some newly shaded areas on the southeast side of the city,” she said, referring to the new district map. “It meets all federal, state and local requirements for proposed redistricting as it has been drawn up and also population distribution analysis.”
Plus, it is within the acceptable deviation allowed by the federal government, she said.
“Total allowable deviation is plus or minus 10%, and we’re at 8.9% overall currently as the proposed maps are now,” she said.
Once it’s fully approved, the council district map will be updated on the city’s website, seymourcity.com, and also will be available to view at the clerk-treasurer’s office at city hall, 301-309 N. Chestnut St.
According to the redistricting ordinance, the city council districts are as follows:
Council District 1 (population 4,338): All of Jackson 1E, portions of Redding Seymour City east of Ewing Street and portions of Jackson 2E north of East Tipton Street
Council District 2 (population 4,158): Portions of Jackson 2E east of Myers Street south of East Tipton Street, east of Bush Street, north of Highlawn Avenue/East Brown Street and east of East Brown Street and Marley Lane; all of Jackson 2W east of South O’Brien Street to the railroad tracks and including all of Parkland Avenue on the south; and portions of Jackson 7 north of East County Road 440N and west of North County Road 975E
Council District 3 (population 4,540): Portions of Jackson 2E west of Bush Street, south of Highlawn Avenue/East Brown Street and west of East Brown Street/Marley Lane and all of Jackson 3S and Jackson 3N
Council District 4 (population 4,300): Portions of Jackson 2W, east of O’Brien Street west of the railroad tracks and south of R. Pardieck Drive, all of Jackson 4N and Jackson 4S and portions of Jackson 7 east of Walnut Street north of East County Road 340N and west of North County Road 850E
Council District 5 (population 4,553): Portions of Redding Seymour City west of Ewing Street and all of Jackson 5N and Jackson 5E