Ryan Hagen, Staff Writer
Posted: 05/21/2012 07:33:38 PM PDT

SAN BERNARDINO – Each of three proposals to slightly change the boundaries of the seven wards that make up the city contained problems for some City Council members, leading them to delay a vote on those boundaries until staff members come up with a fourth proposal.

The vote was originally scheduled for Monday. A new map fixing each of the issues raised then could be ready by the June 14 meeting, said Margo Wheeler, director of community development and coordinator of the city’s redistricting process.

New boundaries to the city’s wards – portions of the city that are each represented by a different council member – are required because of the 2010 Census, which showed the population of some wards had grown faster than others.

Population shifts have been relatively small compared to past redistricting, leading to small changes to the margins of the wards that council members said could nonetheless have important implications.

Extensive changes make it difficult for elected representatives to build a relationship with the residents on whose behalf they’re supposed to vote, said Councilwoman Wendy McCammack, whose 7th Ward includes much of the north-central part of the city.

“In the case of the 7th Ward there’s one section that’s jockeyed back and forth (between wards) every time we go through redistricting, and it makes it difficult for people to know what ward they’re in and for council members to familiarize themselves with their residents,” McCammack said at first, as she pushed for Plan A because she said it minimized those changes.

But she later said each of her colleagues brought up good points, which is why she recommended a fourth proposal that combines elements of the other maps but eliminates those concerns.

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