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Council talks redistricting; Mayor and city excited over breaking records

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LANCASTER – Mayor Marcus Knight was working off adrenalin Monday, July 25 as he opened the council meeting. 

“I apologize if some of us have droopy eyes, we have been up since 3 and 4 in the morning to participate in our feature on WFAA downtown at Victory Plaza,” said Knight.

Many council and city officials were present for a taping of local Dallas news station WFAA’s morning broadcast “Daybreak” spotlighting the city of Lancaster. Some however, might have forgot to properly set their alarms. 

During citizen comments Mayor Pro Tem Clyde Hairston featured a slight “show and tell.”

“I love my city, been here 22 years and I set my alarm clock for 3 a.m. and forgot to push the button and overslept this morning.”

“I had to lie in bed to watch everyone while in agony over missing the event,” said Hairston as he showed his sign he spent “hours making” to the audience and other council members.

“I want to really thank Alicia[Oyedele, Assistant to the City Manager] for all her hard work into making this such a successful event for our city,” said Knight.

“It’s to my knowledge we broke the attendance record for the event, beating out all the other cities so far.”

After basking in the glow of their time on television, the council started some serious discussion with David Mendez, partner with Bickerstaff, Heath, Delago and Acosta LLP from Austin.

“After evaluating the numbers from the 2010 census returns, your city needs to focus on some redistricting,” said Mendez.

According to Mendez ,besides the Congress, all other single member districts including Senate, have to be a balance of no more than a 10 percent margin with population. 

Based on the new findings, the ideal number of residents per representing district would be 6,054.

“Right now, District 4 [James Daniels’ district] is 95 percent overpopulated with 11,836 people,” said Mendez.

The city would need to make changes and re map their district before February 2012 to hold their annual May council elections.

“I would say if you were able to finish all your redistricting before the end of Sept and send it over to the Department of Justice, you should be safe for 2012 elections,” said Mendez.

Council unanimously approved to go ahead with staff recommendations to work on their redistricting process. 

District 6 Deputy Mayor Pro Tem Nina Morris was absent. 

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