Wednesday, December 5, 2012
At a meeting, last week, the Lake Ozark Board of Aldermen approved the redrawing of the line that separates Ward 2 and 3 to an area just north of Bagnell Dam.
According to City Administrator Dave Van Dee, the line has been redrawn to move three streets from Ward Two to Ward Three.
The streets, Rudder Road, Whitfield Road and Willmore Lane, all lead off Business 54 (Bagnell Dam Boulevard) just north of Bagnell Dam. Van Dee said redrawing of the lines was necessary after the 2010 U.S. Census showed a shift in the town’s population had created an imbalance in how many residents were living in each ward.
Under state statutes fourth-class cities must be divided into not less than two wards, with an equal balance of residents in each ward. Then once the ward lines are determined, voters must elect two aldermen from each ward. In the case of Lake Ozark, the city is divided into three wards and two aldermen are elected from each ward.
However, Van Dee said the size of each ward is determined by the number of the entire population living inside each ward, not by the number of voters that live inside the wards.
“People need to understand that it is the size of the overall population that determines the size of the wards,” Van Dee said. “Just as the Congressional Districts are drawn up according to the size of the overall population, not just the numbers of voters, that’s the same way we have to draw the ward lines.”
According to Van Dee the shift in ward lines will move about 90 to 100 residents that used to be part of Ward Two into Ward Three.
In addition to that small area north of the Dam, Ward Three is made up of the Bagnell Dam Strip area and surrounding streets.
At a meeting last summer, Mayor Johnnie Franzeskos presented aldermen with a document detailing the proposed solutions to the imbalance defined in the Census Bureau document. Franzeskos recommended that Ward One lines remain the same and that approximately 100 or so of the residents in Ward Two be shifted into Ward Three.
Van Dee said the new ward lines would take effect as soon as city officials file the changes with the county and he said most residents would not notice the difference until it comes time to vote in the April municipal elections.
Currently Ward Three is represented by Aldermen Jeff Van Donsel and Todd Painter. Ward Two is represented by Aldermen Larry Buschjost and Tony Otto.
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