A New Redistricting Plan, Amidst Confusion
COLUMBIA - Columbia City Council voted Monday in favor of a new redistricting plan for the city. The plan pushes the First Ward's boundary west to Silvey Street and expands the Fourth Ward's boundary south to the MKT trail.
After months of spirited debate over as many as five potential maps, city council had a few more curveballs before the approval. Third Ward Councilman Gary Kespohl urged the council to approve none of the proposed trials, while Fifth Ward Councilman Jason Thornhill defended Fourth Ward Councilman Daryl Dudley from residents asking for Dudley's recall from office.
Dudley was under fire for his proposal to amend Trial D, which some residents thought was an attempt at legislative gerrymandering. Dudley defended his actions, saying there was no political motive behind them.
Then came a moment of confusion. Dudley told the packed council chambers that "he will not continue to be [their] councilman." But later Dudley said he misspoke and will continue to be part of Columbia City Council.
The new district ward map was approved by a vote of 6-1. It can be found here.