CITY CONVENES REDISTRICTING COMMISSION
St. Petersburg, Fla. (January 3, 2012) - St. Petersburg's City Charter requires the city to convene a Redistricting Commission every 10 years following the national census. Mayor and City Council have appointed nine citizens to the commission, which now meets weekly each Tuesday to analyze existing City Council District boundaries and make any recommendations for changes by Feb. 15. Some time during that period, the commission will hold a public hearing.
St. Petersburg, with a population of 244,769 according the 2010 U.S. Census, has eight City Council Districts. The Charter requires each district to be similar in population (between 29,984 and 31,208 each). The Charter also requires districts to be compact, contiguous and follow boundaries defined by streets, railroad lines or other natural boundaries (such as waterways). Currently, only District 3 meets the target population, requiring boundaries to be adjusted throughout the city.
The Mayor and each member of City Council appointed a member to the commission. The chair of the Redistricting Commission is Dr. Linda Lucas, and vice chair is Dr. Brian Ligon. Other members include Dan Kunitzer, Laurel Macdonald, David Herzik, Greg Holden, Theresa McEachern, Paul Dickens and Ann Sherman-White.
A timetable dictates that the Redistricting Commission submit its report to City Council on Feb. 15, with a final City Council deadline of May 12 to complete redistricting.