Proposal to realign wards places incumbents Neumyer, Babcock in same city district
A proposed redistricting plan for the City of Port Washington would place incumbent aldermen Paul Neumyer and Burt Babcock in the same district, forcing them to run against each other in the spring election if they seek another term on the Common Council.
The change was made as the city sought to align its aldermanic wards with Ozaukee County’s proposed supervisory districts, City Administrator Mark Grams said Tuesday during the Common Council’s initial review of the redistricting plan.
In attempting to keep the city wards within the county district boundaries and equalize the populations in each, the new 2nd District encompassed the homes of both Neumyer and Babcock, he said.
“There’s just no way to avoid it,” Grams said.
But that didn’t satisfy Neumyer.
“I object to this strongly,” he said. “Burt’s losing his district. How does this benefit the city?”
Ald. Joe Dean, who is also a county supervisor, said the object is not to retain seats for current officials.
“The intent of the county and the intent here should be that people are represented,” he said. “I don’t see anyone in the city or county who won’t be represented.”
Each of the proposed city aldermanic districts contains about 1,600 residents with one exception, District 4, which has 1,399 residents, Grams said. However, that district encompasses the areas of highest growth, including the Greystone and Misty Ridge subdivisions, Grams said.
Since the federal census figures were released, 20 to 25 new homes have been built in that district, he noted.
The city is also contemplating changes to its voting locations as the redistricting is completed, Grams said.
Under consideration is a plan where voters in Districts 4, 5 and 6 would vote at Dunwiddie Elementary School, those in Districts 2 and 3 at City Hall and those in Districts 1 and 7 at Thomas Jefferson Middle School.
Currently, voters from Districts 2, 3 and 4 vote at City Hall.
The Common Council is expected to revisit the redistricting and approve a new aldermanic district map when it meets Tuesday, June 21.
The map would then go back to Ozaukee county for final approval.