Huber Heights plans to redistrict wards due to population gain

HUBER HEIGHTS — Due to Huber Height’s population growth, city council is planning to redistrict the city’s six political wards.

The redistricting will not go into effect for the 2021 election, though the deadline to complete the process is Dec. 31. Huber Heights’s charter says the redistricting, “shall be effective for the first municipal primary election occurring at least 150 days after the passage of the ordinance.”

The city’s population grew from around 38,000 to to more than 43,000 in the past 10 years and was the fastest growing in Montgomery County.

The city currently has six wards, each represented by one member of council, and two at-large council members. The wards are divided up equally by population, said Nancy Byrge, one of the at-large council members, and are required to be equally divided under the city’s charter.

Mayor Jeff Gore noted at a Sept. 7 work session the city had seen lots of growth in Wards 1 and 6, which are the precincts on the east and west of the city, and in Ward 2, on the north side of the city.

“We’ve added over 5,000 citizens, and an awful lot of them are up north of 70,” Byrge said. “So we’re going to have to reallocate who’s responsible for what areas.”

Anthony Rodgers, the clerk of council for Huber Heights, said the city had not gotten the precinct-level data from the Census as of Friday, Oct. 8 so the process has not moved further.

“Generally, what we’re looking to do is get within a 5% distribution of the population between the six wards,” Rodgers said.

Rodgers said the current boundaries will shift in one of the directions from where they are now to ensure the population is fairly represented according to the city’s charter.

He said he is looking at using major roads or interstates to try to mark the boundaries, so people would be able to know which ward they were in just by looking at a map.

Ultimately, city council decides where the lines are and signs the ward boundaries into legislation.

Rodgers noted that 10 years ago during the redistricting process, the council decided not to draw a current council member out of Ward 2 when the line moved.

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