HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - "Redistricting is deemed necessary because the balance of the wards has moved and changed," said Hattiesburg City Council President, Kim Bradley.
Bradley says the balance has changed due to the increase in population according to the 2010 U.S. Census, which means thousands of residents will be shuffled between ward lines to get the numbers in each ward even.
"You can not have greater than ten percent deviation in each of the wards that means they got to be within ten percent of that 9,000," said Bradley.
So, that means each of the five wards will lose or gain residents.
"I got to gain about 1800 people. Deborah has got to gain somewhere around that number or not as much 1500, and Dave Ware is about 500 that he has to gain," said Bradley.
Bradley says this should be an easy process, but he anticipates opposition.
"They'll be some who will want to come to the meetings and put their position out there. Anytime you start talking about race and make-up of wards there are some people who think their way is the right and only way, and I am sure we will have some very very tough debates and discussions," said Bradley.
Those tough debates and discussions will play out during the public meetings scheduled on the matter. The city's planners Bridge and Watson will draw up several maps.
"We will adopted a plan at the end of the day that best suits the interest of the city of Hattiesburg, and that has clearance and approval from the Department of Justice," said Bradley.