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Woodstock Moves Forward With Ward Redistricting

The population of each ward has to be equally distributed.

The Woodstock City Council on Monday voted to move forward with the legal process of changing the boundaries of its six wards.

The council voted 3-1, with Liz Baxter opposing, to move forward with a balanced map. Council members Randy Brewer and Chris Casdia were not present.

The city has to draft the changes in a form of an ordinance, which will then have to be advertised in the Cherokee Tribune, the county's legal organ, for three consecutive weeks. Once two public hearings are held and the council approves the changes, the map then heads to the U.S. Department of Justice for final approval.

Reapportioning the city's wards occurs every 10 years after the U.S. Census is taken. Based on the city's 2010 population of 23,896, each ward ideally would have 3,982 residents, or 16 percent of the total population.

The city has to stay within the mandated 5 percent range, which means each ward could have between 3,783 to 4,181 citizens. The city experienced significant growth on its east side, so the wards will be changed to accommodate the changes. 

In other business, City Manager Jeff Moon updated the council on how he will proceed with filling the community development director position. Richard McLeod will resign the post effective Nov. 2 to take the same position in Alpharetta.

Moon said he plans to appoint an interim community development director on Nov. 5 and various city staff will most likely divide amongst themselves current projects McLeod has under his belt.

“It will be a mixture of folks that will be involved in picking up the projects that are still in motion," he said, adding himself, City Planner Brian Stockton, Public Works Director Pat Flood, Building Official Duane Helton and Capital Projects Manager Tal Harber could be the primary staff members taking on the various projects.

Moon said he hopes to advertise for the position next week for 30 days and hopes to begin interviews the week after Thanksgiving.

The city manager then said he hopes to have someone in place by or around Jan. 1.

The council also tabled until next week a request for the Georgia Department of Transportation transfer funds from the city's proposed transportation enhancement (TE) grant slated to fund the North Main Streetscapes project to an extension of the current streetscape to the on Main between Oak St and Fowler Street. 

The council moved to executive session to discuss real estate, personnel and litigation, but took no action after returning. 

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