Harrison County

Another redistricting is in Biloxi’s future

Councilman George Lawrence discusses proposed ward lines in Biloxi in May 2012. It took many months to come up with a plan. The city is undertaking another redistricting ahead of next year's municipal election.
Councilman George Lawrence discusses proposed ward lines in Biloxi in May 2012. It took many months to come up with a plan. The city is undertaking another redistricting ahead of next year's municipal election. meperez@sunherald.com File

The community can get a look at Biloxi’s proposed new ward lines at a community workshop on Nov. 17.

Councilman Felix Gines is hosting the event at 5:30 p.m. at Frank Gruich Community Center, 591 Howard Ave.

Gines said the redistricting is needed to provide equal representation for residents who were added to the city in the last annexation. If that entire area on the north end of Biloxi were included in Ward 7, he said, it would have hundreds more residents than the other districts.

Southern Mississippi Planning & Development District was hired to oversee the rezoning and divide the wards more evenly.

The last time the city did a redistricting was in 2013. That redistricting caused problems because the new ward lines weren’t submitted to the Justice Department until January, which did not provide enough time for approval before the municipal election process began. Candidates had to file under the old ward lines from 2004.

This redistricting could pose similar time constraints.

Also on the agenda for the workshop will be end-of-the-year sprucing up and an update on the infrastructure work north and south of the railroad tracks in East Biloxi.

The City Council meets next on Nov. 15. The third meeting of the month will be Nov. 29 instead of Thanksgiving week.

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