Apparently everyone is happy with the finalized maps showing the new city council wards. That’s because, according to Paragould Mayor Josh Agee, there were no comments about the maps as displayed in the city hall foyer for the last month.
The city council approved adoption of the maps at its Dec. 13 meeting. As previously reported, the maps have been drawn so as to have as close to the same number of people in each ward as possible, so that two incumbents would not have to run against each other in the next election, and so as to follow natural lines of demarcation (roads, etc.) wherever possible.
The new maps are a requirement due to redistricting as a result of the 2020 census. A 10-year Constitutional requirement, redistricting seeks to equalize (as much as possible) the number of people in each ward or district within a city, county and state.
“One thing that might be worth mentioning,” said Agee before the vote. “Ward 4 was voted to be a dry ward in 1998.” He noted the vote covered the geographical area that was Ward 4 at that time, and that geographical area would remain dry – where the sale of alcoholic beverages is prohibited – whatever happened to ward boundaries thereafter. “There is nothing that this city council or I as mayor can do to change that.”
The only way it could change, Agee continued, would be for the people within that same geographical area to vote for it to be wet.
“No matter how we move the lines of Ward 4,” the mayor said, “That geographical area would continue to stay dry.”
As an example, Agee said, if part of the area that had been in Ward 4 in 1998 when the voters of that ward voted for it to be dry had shifted to Ward 2, that area would still be dry even in another ward. “What we did with the redistricting had zero effect on what we call ... ‘Ward 4’ being dry,” he said.
The new ward boundaries go into effect as of Jan. 1.
Welcome to the discussion.
Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.