Chesterton Tribune


Officials eye a redraw of Chesterton Town Council Wards

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Population growth in some parts of the Town of Chesterton is prompting the Town Council to redraw some of the five districts—commonly called wards—into which Chesterton is divided to ensure even representation on the council.

At a special meeting on Tuesday, members tentatively agreed to reassign portions of three districts to three others.

At the moment, the town’s five districts look roughly like this:

•District 1, including the southeast quadrant of town and a good chunk of the Downtown south of Indian Boundary Road and on either side of North and South Calumet Road. Population: 1,946. Represented on the Town Council by Member Jim Ton, Republican.

•District 2, including the neighborhoods south of West Porter Ave. and east of 11th Street all the way to 1100N. Population: 2,265. Represented by Member Jeff Trout, Republican.

•District 3, including the neighborhood north of West Porter Ave. and south of Broadway. Population: 2,094. Represented by Member Nick Walding, Republican.

•District 4, comprised of the extreme west and southwest quadrants of town and including Crocker and the newer subdivisions, Westwood Manor and Abercrombie Woods. Population: 3,968. Represented by Sharon Darnell, Democrat.

•District 5, comprised of the northeast quadrant of town. Population: 2,795. Represented by Emerson DeLaney, Republican.

Under the tentative re-draw, a block of District 5 south of East Porter Ave. and east of Ind. 49 would be re-assigned to District 1; a block of District 4 north of West Porter Ave. and east of 23rd Street would be re-assigned to District 3; and a block of District 4 west of 11th Street and north of 1100N would be re-assigned to District 2.

The new populations of the five districts under the proposed re-draw:

•District 1: 2,333.

•District 2: 2,716.

•District 3: 2,641.

•District 4: 2,970.

•District 5: 2,502.

In fact, the re-districting is more or less academic, since municipal voting in the Town of Chesterton is at-large, that is, all voters cast ballots in all district races, while each council member legally represents every resident of the town.

But, under Indiana Code, a candidate for, say, the District 1 seat on the council must reside in District 1, while a candidate for the District 2 seat must reside in District 2.

Some years ago, Council Member Bob Crone was forced to resign his seat after moving from a house in his council district to one in a different district.



Posted 11/15/2012