* map shows the location of the proposed population shifts and ward boundaries.
What is redistricting?
Redistricting is a legally required process that legislative bodies undertake every ten (10) years after the release of the decennial U.S. Census. The U.S. census takes place every 10 years (decennial census) and is intended to count every resident in the United States. The United States census is legally mandated by the U.S. Constitution.
Redistricting ensures that every citizen’s vote is weighed equally, and it determines how our electoral boundaries will be shaped for the next ten (10) years. The purpose of redistricting is to balance or equalize the number of people in each ward to reflect changes in population since the last United States decennial census. Ward populations must be as near equal as practicable to ensure that everyone’s vote counts the same, and everyone has equal access to representation.
The following criteria must be met when considering district lines:
- Contiguous – The entirety of a ward must be connected.
- Distribution of Population – Each ward should contain as near an equal number of inhabitants as is practicable and should not exceed a 10% deviation from the ward with the lowest population to the ward with the highest population.
- Incumbency – The City will not displace a sitting Council Member from their ward.
The following criteria may also be taken into consideration:
- Compactness and shape of the ward. Ideally, there should be a minimum distance between all parts of the ward as well as regularity in shape.
- Retention of existing neighborhoods and/or subdivisions within a single ward.
- Retention of established precincts, historic boundaries, zoning districts, etc.
- Minority representation.
- Natural boundaries, such as roads, rivers, etc.
Redistricting within the City of Wildwood
As noted in the City Charter, the City of Wildwood establishes a Redistricting Committee from time to time to review U.S. census results and ensure that wards are compact, contiguous, and contain, “as nearly as practicable, an equal number of residents.” The standard for district populations set forth in the City Charter is similar to the standard required under the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution, that “local legislative districts be designed to have populations as close to perfect equality as possible.”
As further noted in the City Charter, the Redistricting Committee shall consist of one (1) resident from each existing ward appointed by the Mayor and individually approved by two-thirds (2/3) of the members of the City Council. Such appointed residents shall not hold any other appointive or elective position with the City. The Committee shall submit its findings to the City Council and, if redistricting is required by law, the findings shall be approved unless a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members of the City Council shall object, in which case the Council may establish other boundaries by a two-thirds (2/3) majority of the members of the City Council or return the findings for reconsideration.
At the April 25, 2022, City Council meeting, Mayor Bowlin appointed, and City Council approved, the following residents to the Redistricting Committee:
Ryan Leslie – Ward One
Mikel Garrett – Ward Two
David Sandberg – Ward Three
Ray Edwards – Ward Four
Dan Glowski – Ward Five
Matthew Kelpe – Ward Six
Dave Williams – Ward Seven
Steve Peterson – Ward Eight
The Committee then met to review the results of the census for the City of Wildwood and the impact of the 2020 U.S. Census on the population of the City’s eight (8) wards.
Redistricting Committee’s Recommendation
The 2020 census reflected little change in total population for the City of Wildwood, indicating a slight reduction in total population from 35,517 in 2010 to a population of 35,417 in 2020. However, a review of the census relative to the number of residents in each of the City’s eight (8) wards noted an imbalance in the number of residents per ward, thus a redistricting of the City’s wards was required.
The Committee reviewed the population by ward, and consequently made the following recommendation to City Council relative to the redistricted population by ward:
Redistricted Population 2022
-778 (Moved to Ward 3)
315 (Moved from Ward 8)
778 (Moved from Ward 1)
-511 (Moved to Ward 4)
511 (Moved from Ward 3)
273 (Moved from Ward 8)
-273 (Moved to Ward 7)
-315 (Moved to Ward 1)
One of the challenges faced when considering the population changes by ward was that wards with the lowest population were not contiguous to wards with the highest population. Therefore, in some instances, multiple shifts were required.
The recommendations from the Redistricting Committee were provided to the City Council at the October 24, 2022, Council meeting and were subsequently approved by the Council.
Redrawn wards and newly created wards take effect for Council elections at the next general municipal election (April 4, 2023).
The City is mailing out postcards to Wildwood residents that have been redistricted. If you have any questions, please reach out to Thomas Lee at email@example.com.
Did my Ward Change?
If you are unsure what Ward you live in, you can either view the City Ward Map (PDF) or use our Online Ward Map and follow these steps:
- Enter your address in the Search bar at the top menu.
- Once the map has found your address, click the individual wards to show that Ward’s ID # and Council Member representatives.
- If it’s unclear which Ward is selected, just zoom out using the ’-’ button on the left side of the map until the Ward numbers and colors become visible.