City of Petal plans for redistricting of ward lines

With more people taking spots in the Friendly City, Petal Mayor Tony Ducker said it’s time to make some changes.
Published: Mar. 27, 2023 at 7:05 PM CDT
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PETAL, Miss. (WDAM) - There’s no question the City of Petal has seen an increase in residents over the last 10 years.

With more people taking spots in the Friendly City, Petal Mayor Tony Ducker said it’s time to make some changes.

During the last Petal Board of Aldermen meeting, plans for the redistricting of ward lines were presented by Slaughter & Associates Urban Planning Consultants.

“There is a lot of growth taking place out east, out by the high school in that area,” said Ducker. “So, some folks, actually myself included will be in another ward next time the elections take place.”

Ducker said the changes, which will include Wards 2,4, 5 and 6, are set to ensure an equal number of residents have the same representation when it comes to voting in elections.

According to the urban planning group, redistricting is required when there is a deviation of greater than 10% in the total population between the smallest and largest populated voting districts as compared to the ideal population.

“We went from a little over 10,000 to a little over 11,000 over the last 10 years, so, basically, you want to keep the lines as good as you can,” Ducker said. “To somewhat where they are at, you don’t want wholesale changes. If you can help it, you would like neighborhoods to stay intact because they become voting blocks.”

Under the plan, the area around Trussell Road and Cornith Road will move from Ward 5 to 4, East 7th. Avenue to Hillcrest Road will move from Ward 4 to 6 and one side of Redfern Trail and Backwoods Trail will move to Ward 5.

“You get an outside professional to come in and draw the numbers up, see where everybody is at, and do the voting ages,” Ducker said. “You want basically every ward to have roughly the same number of folks in it. So that’s part of the process.”

During the next board meeting on April 4, Ducker said a recommendation and vote will be to accept the final redistricting plans and the changes will take effect immediately.

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